Chelsea do not need to sell this month for PSR

Chelsea will not need to sell players this month to comply with Premier League Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) but will need to before next year’s deadline.

Sky Sports had previously reported that Chelsea were among some Premier League clubs who may need to sell players before the June 30 deadline, but Chelsea insist this is not the case.

Sky Sports understands Chelsea will need to make sales to keep in line with PSR for the 2024/2025 season, and the cut off for that is next summer, but they are under no pressure to sell this month.

Chelsea meanwhile have also confirmed the signing of Tosin from Fulham on a four-year contract.

The defender completed a medical earlier this week and will arrive at Stamford Bridge on a free transfer when his contract with Fulham officially expires at the end of June.

Tosin rejected several new contract offers at Craven Cottage before agreeing to become the first signing under new Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca.

Tosin to join Chelsea from Fulham on four-year deal

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Tosin Adarabioyo from Fulham on a four-year contract.

The defender completed a medical earlier this week and will arrive at Stamford Bridge on a free transfer when his contract with Fulham officially expires at the end of June.

Tosin rejected several new contract offers at Craven Cottage before agreeing to become the first signing under new Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca.

Newcastle had entered talks and Manchester United were also understood to be admirers, but Chelsea are said to have offered better personal conditions to win the race for his signature.

After signing for the Blues, Tosin said: “Chelsea is a huge club and this is a full-circle moment for me. I was born three miles away from Stamford Bridge and made my professional debut there.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to helping push the club in the direction we want to go.”

Tosin’s height and ability on the ball caught Chelsea’s attention and with veteran Thiago Silva departing the club this summer, a gap in the squad at centre-back opened up.

The 26-year-old made 20 appearances for Fulham in the Premier League during the 2023/24 campaign, scoring two goals and helping his former side to a 13th-place finish.

“As a new chapter awaits, I’d just like to thank everyone at Fulham Football Club for the last four years,” Tosin posted on social media on Thursday ahead of his move.

“Together with the manager, staff, my team-mates and supporters, we made some great memories that I’ll always hold fondly. I wish you all the best in the future.”

Should Tosin have been considered for England?

Tosin produced the best form of his career last season and was arguably one of the main factors behind Fulham staving off any relegation fears throughout the campaign.

His performances in the surprise wins over Manchester United and Brighton were hugely influential, and he is continuing what should be seen as a strong turnaround in his status at Craven Cottage, having appeared to be heading for Monaco last summer.

Tosin was an England youth international at U16, U17, U18 and U19 levels and once one of Manchester City’s brightest prospects, talked up by Pep Guardiola. At Fulham, he was integral to two promotion seasons and their survival in the top flight under Marco Silva.

Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo during the Premier League match at Craven Cottage, London. Picture date: Saturday March 2, 2024.
Should Tosin have been considered by England manager Gareth Southgate for Euro 2024?

The 26-year-old has never had a senior call-up for England and is not normally in the conversation for Gareth Southgate’s squads.

Perhaps he should have been part of his plans in Germany, given he outperformed the likes of Marc Guehi, Lewis Dunk and Ezri Konsa in several important statistical metrics in the Premier League – even Manchester City’s John Stones in some aspects.

Tosin won more defensive duels (61.94 per cent), interceptions per 90 minutes (1.39) and clearances per 90 minutes (4.45) than all of them, and was behind only Harry Maguire (2.95) and James Tarkowski (2.82) for headed clearances per 90 minutes (2.62) in the Premier League among those to have played more than four games.

There are a couple of obvious skews in the data; the further down the league your team is, the more likely you are to be doing more defending in games, and Fulham have been competing in the bottom half all season.

That will be among the reasons why Everton’s centre-backs Tarkowski (1.46) and Jarrad Branthwaite (1.44) score more highly than any of England’s centre-backs on interceptions per 90 – but Tosin was only just behind on 1.39.

There is also the fact that Tosin spent the first half of the season out injured with a groin problem and made 20 Premier League appearances since, which condenses and spikes his data, while the likes of Guehi, Dunk, Konsa and the two Everton lads have played more than 20 games.

Apart from Stones and Guehi, Tosin conceded the fewest fouls out of the England pool too at just 0.56 per game.

When does the summer transfer window open and close?

The 2024 summer transfer window in the Premier League officially opens on Friday June 14 – the same day that Euro 2024 starts.

The window will close on August 30 at 11pm UK time in England and at midnight in Scotland.

The Premier League has brought forward Deadline Day to link up with the other major leagues in Europe. The closing dates were set following discussions with the leagues in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

Why June 30 is the new ‘Deadline Day’ that worries clubs so much

Since 2002 the transfer window has been an integral, at times even overbearing, part of British football.

From some time in early June to August 31, and for the entire month of January, clubs can finally do their business at will. Star players can finally hope they get their big move, fringe players can finally look to get some game-time elsewhere – and managers can finally find out whether their chairmen will loosen the purse strings after all.

Both windows have remained largely untouched for more than two decades, but now a third date has popped up on the transfer calendar: June 30.

Totally aside from the transfer window itself, this date marks the end of the accounting period for each league season.

That’s the date clubs must have their finances sufficiently in order to pass the Premier League and Championship’s respective Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) checks – with Everton and Nottingham Forest’s points deductions two recent examples of what happens when they don’t.

Those rules have begun to bite over the last few years creating an array of suddenly more pressing issues for CEOs, managers and, indirectly, players in the process.

So let’s talk you through the big issues surrounding English football’s ‘proxy’ deadline day…

Why is June 30 so important for clubs?

Under current spending rules – which are set to change at some point in the near future – clubs are allowed to make certain losses across a three-year period, which are calculated up to the end of June 30 of any given year.

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Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains the proposed changes to Profit and Sustainability laws in the Premier League

In the Premier League, this amounts to £105m. In the Championship, it’s much less at £39m.

League One and League Two operate under a different set of rules, which include a wage cap and spending limit tied to the amount of money they make every year.

The Premier League and Championship ‘losses’ don’t include everything. The upkeep of a stadium or building a new one, spending on the academy or associated women’s team and anything which the leagues define as “for the general interest of the club and football” all get left out.

There can be grey areas here, but if clubs believe they are in danger of breaching the rules, then they need to do something about it before July 1 rolls around. And the quickest of those fixes normally involves selling players.

Who’s at risk this summer?

Sky Sports News understands six clubs – Everton, Nottm Forest, Newcastle, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Leicester, face having to sell players before the end of June in order to comply with PSR

Leicester already face a potential points deduction for breaking PSR rules up to the end of the 2022/23 season, when they were relegated to the Championship.

All six clubs are under pressure to sell players before the June 30 deadline to meet the £105m allowable loss.

Will clubs be forced to sell players on the cheap?

There is certainly a chance of this. Not only do clubs worried about breaching PSR have a limited time to improve their financial situation, but the clubs who want to buy their players know this too.

To drive a harder bargain, clubs are known to keep tabs on one another’s finances to get an idea of how much pressure selling clubs are under, especially at this time of year.

Everton’s director of football Kevin Thelwell has already publicly admitted players “will be sold” this summer, and asked for “patience and understanding” from the club’s fans as they look to improve their financial footing.

“Those clubs who have players on very lucrative contracts will face some challenging times,” football finance expert Kieran Maguire told the Transfer Talk podcast. “Who’s going to be willing to match the wages that these players are on?

“And from a player’s perspective, they want to know why they should take a pay cut just to help the club they’re currently playing for to comply with PSR.”

Jarrad Branthwaite
Jarrad Branthwaite is one of three players Everton are considering selling before the June 30 deadline

Why are homegrown players more likely to be sold?

For accounting purposes, selling an academy product is a much simpler way for a club to make a profit – and therefore reduce losses – than selling a player they had previously bought.

This is because when a player is sold, the ‘profit’ they bring in is offset against what is called their ‘book value’. This involves a process called amortisation, which is discussed in further detail here.

In simple terms, it means their calculated ‘value’, which is relative to their original purchase price and how much of their contract is left, taken off the amount they are sold for – reducing any financial bonus for the selling club.

For instance, a player who was bought for £50m on a five-year contract decreases in value by £10m every season under amortisation.

If they were sold after three years, their book value would be £20m – and this would be deducted from whatever their sale price was. So if they were sold for £30m, they could only bank a profit of £10m.

A player who has come through the club’s academy would not have the same issue. The profit in that deal would be recorded as the full £30m.

Could clubs just take a points deduction instead of complying?

This has been mooted outside of the game and probably thought about in some Premier League boardrooms but it is, in no uncertain terms, a risky strategy.

Say you have a player who you believe is worth five or six points to you in a season, a star man. Selling him would bring you in line with PSR limits for one season, but you have lost your best player for good. It could be tempting.

However, as we’ve seen in the season which has just finished, predicting what sanctions clubs will face for PSR breaches is difficult to predict.

For instance, Nottm Forest were docked four points earlier this season for a PSR breach of £34.5m, while Everton’s first charge saw them penalised with a 10-point deduction – albeit later reduced to six – for overspending by £16.6m, less than half that figure.

“It’s a risk to take,” Maguire told Transfer Talk. “What happens if the player [being kept] has a loss of form, and when you’re starting the season on minus six points you’re already going into the season with a very different mindset.

“It could be that the player themselves becomes unsettled, which impacts on their performance. We fall into a trap as fans of viewing players as commodities to be bought and sold.

“I’ve not seen anyone within the industry itself say they’re willing to take that risk, but I am certain everyone is doing their sums.

“Some clubs might take the view a player is so good he’s worth a minimum of eight points per season, and it might be the worth of taking a six-point deduction.”

Separately, part of Forest’s defence against their deduction centred around the sale of Brennan Johnson, who they said could have left the club before last summer’s June 30 cut-off.

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Solhekol explains why Nottm Forest’s appeal against their four-point Premier League points deduction last season failed

Forest’s argument suggested they could have complied with PSR, but claimed the one offer they received for him before the deadline, from Atletico Madrid, was below his market value.

They justified their decision by referencing the £47.5m they received from Tottenham when they eventually sold him on September 1 as “golden mitigation”.

This was rejected by the Premier League panel, but that does not mean other clubs will not try similar tactics in the future.