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UEFA will close contract loophole to stop Chelsea-style transfer strategy

UEFA is set to close a loophole on Wednesday allowing clubs to spread the cost of big transfer fees over lengthy contracts.

Chelsea have caught the eye over the last two transfer windows by signing players on long deals, including £107 million January recruit Enzo Fernandez on an eight-and-a-half-year contract.

The Blues have done so in order to spread the cost of the transfer fee over a greater period of time and comply with UEFA’s financial regulations, something which is currently permitted.

However, it is understood UEFA’s executive committee will update the regulations when it meets on Wednesday.

It is expected there will be no limit on the length of a contract, but the cost of any transfer fee will have to be spread over a maximum of five years.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 24: A general view intside the stadium at Stade de France on May 24, 2022 in Paris, France. Liverpool FC will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final on May 28, 2022. (Photo by UEFA)

The PA news agency understands the Exco will not re-examine UEFA’s policies on multi-club ownership when it meets this week, despite it becoming an increasingly contentious and controversial issue in the game.

However, UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) is meeting this week to examine individual cases where there could be a conflict under existing multi-club ownership rules in its competitions next season.

PA understands the CFCB is looking at Brighton and Belgian club Union St Gilloise, who have each qualified for next season’s Europa League and are both owned by Tony Bloom, and also Toulouse and AC Milan, who are owned by US-based investment firm RedBird Capital.

A decision from the CFCB is expected towards the end of the week.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Sunday, August 23, 2020: The European Cup trophy seen before the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. (Credit: ©UEFA)

Away from financial matters, the Exco will decide on which venue will host the 2025 Women’s Champions League final.

The Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon is understood to be up against the Vodafone Stadium in Istanbul for the right to host.

The 2024 and 2025 Europa Conference League final hosts will also be decided.

The OPAP Arena, home to AEK Athens, is expected to host one of them while the Tarczynski Arena in Wroclaw, Poland, will stage the other.