Chelsea have been accused of "clearly cheating" by La Liga president Javier Tebas during a fiery press conference.
Tebas took aim at the Blues following their January spending spree which saw the Premier League side splash an incredulous £323million. Not only that, the west Londoners steered clear of the division's Financial Fair Play rules that have stung rivals Manchester City – by tying down a number of their players to lengthy contracts.
Upon arriving at Stamford Bridge, new signings Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Benoit Badiashile, penned deals that will keep them at the club until 2030 or 2031, in order to spread the costs of the trio over the duration of their contracts.
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And the tactic hasn't sat well with Tebas who called out the Blues for flouting the rules, in his eyes. Tebas raged at the press conference: "Chelsea are clearly cheating by signing players on eight or nine-year contracts."
However, despite Tebas' claims, it appears that the Blues have conjured up a way to stay within the FFP's guidelines in spite of their frivolous spending. Speaking to Sky Sports, financial expert Kevin Maguire explained: "What Chelsea have decided to do is to spread the cost of the players by signing them on very long contracts.
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"So, by signing Mykhailo Mudryk on an eight-and-a-half-year contract, the way it is dealt with for accounting and FFP purposes is you take that £88m cost and you divide that over eight-and-a-half-years, and it works out as just over £10m-a-year.
"That appears to be the Chelsea strategy that they have employed over the last couple of windows." Tebas' attack on the Blues comes as he attempts to clean up Barcelona's mess in his own backyard, after the La Liga giants were charged with paying match officials.
And although Tebas doubts the club have done anything untoward, he warned there'll be harsh consequences – including expulsion to the second division and huge fines – if they don't provide a reasonable explanation for their actions. He said: "I do not believe that Barca bought referees, but there has been a situation that requires a clear explanation.
"The sanction for buying referees? Very serious. Relegation to the second division, multimillion fines. The reputational damage done to Barcelona and La Liga is very important."
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