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
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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.

Chelsea set to confirm Maresca appointment today

Chelsea are set to confirm Enzo Maresca as their new head coach on Monday.

The 44-year-old, who will succeed Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge, has agreed a five-year deal, with Leicester City confirming his exit from the King Power on Monday afternoon “after the board’s terms for his departure were met.”

Maresca, who led Leicester back to the Premier League by winning the Championship last season, was Chelsea’s number-one choice after a shortlist featuring Brentford boss Thomas Frank, Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi was drawn up.

The Italian’s release clause at the King Power Stadium is understood to have been between £8m and £10m, while he will bring six members of his Foxes support staff with him to west London, including former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Cabellero.

Chelsea co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart led the recruitment process after being entrusted by co-owners Behdad Eghbali and Todd Boehly.

They travelled to Marbella for face-to-face talks with Maresca after Leicester gave permission for discussions to commence.

Chelsea were impressed by the depth and breadth of Maresca’s knowledge about their squad in talks with his representatives, as well as his focus on the way Chelsea want to play and his desire for the job.

Maresca’s obsession with possession and positional play made him the leading candidate to replace Pochettino, who left by mutual consent.

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Chelsea fans have differing views on Maresca

The contract length reflects that Chelsea are focused on bringing long-term success back to the club and ends any future speculation about renewals.

Senior Chelsea figures believe the new head coach will be the final piece of the jigsaw to fit into the new modern structure they have built at the club.

The West London club expect to be busy in the transfer market this summer with players coming and going. Trading is likely to see the signing of a new No 9 and centre-back, while the futures of high-earners such as Romelu Lukaku and Kepa Arrizabalaga need to be resolved.

‘Chelsea feel Maresca is the one for them’

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Chelsea have had a very thorough process with Kieran McKenna, Thomas Frank and Roberto De Zerbi all considered, but they feel Maresca is the one for them.

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SSN Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol tells us what incoming Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca will bring with him to Stamford Bridge.

“The others were all very impressive candidates, but Chelsea feel at this moment in time that Maresca is the man for them, and he shares their vision for the future.

“He’s only been a manager for one-and-a-half seasons. He was a manager at Parma in the Italian second division and then he got the Leicester job.

“There have been some issues behind the scenes and not all Leicester fans have been completely happy with him even though he got them promotion back to the Premier League.

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Jason Burt from the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail’s Riath Al-Samarrai discuss Maresca and whether he will be a success at Chelsea

“There were problems about recruitment and problems around the fact that Leicester have been charged for allegedly breaking PSR (Profitability and Sustainability Rules) and they’re also under a transfer embargo from the EFL.

“There have been issues, but Chelsea just want a head coach. They want somebody who is going to coach the first-team squad and deal with the media. Everything else, they feel they have in place.

“You have to remember that Mikel Arteta didn’t have any prior experience of having managed in the Premier League before joining Arsenal, but he had worked under Pep Guardiola which is exactly the same as Maresca.

“I’m not saying he’s a better manager than Arteta, but he has more experience than he did when he took over at Arsenal.

“Don’t underestimate the Pep effect. If you’ve worked under Guardiola, you’ve got a head-start when going for these sorts of jobs, however, you still have to impress, which Maresca has done during these talks.

“I’ve been told that his knowledge of the Chelsea squad, including the youth team players is encyclopaedic.”

Why Chelsea are willing to take a risk on Maresca

Enzo Maresca

Despite having managed less than 70 senior matches, just 53 in England and none in the Premier League, Maresca is set to become Pochettino’s successor at Stamford Bridge, write Sam Blitz and Ron Walker. Even so, he arrives with high expectations.

The 44-year-old will take on the job in similar circumstances to when Claudio Ranieri arrived in 2000 – with demands to reach the Champions League.

Pochettino’s surprise departure from Stamford Bridge largely boiled down to the Blues missing out on the top four. Chelsea’s owners watched last month’s Champions League semi-finals wondering why such a stage was not within the club’s reach.

But despite his relative inexperience, Chelsea do not just see Maresca as a manager capable of getting them into Europe’s premier club competition. They want an attractive style of football, based on possession and dominance.

His attachment and schooling within the Pep Guardiola philosophy plays a major part in their thinking. A Manchester City-lite style of play is what Maresca has brought to Leicester during his year at the King Power.

Pep Guardiola led Man City to a fourth successive Premier League title

That same patient play which ranks Guardiola’s side bottom of the Premier League for forward-pass proportion year after year was embedded almost overnight – in the Championship only Southampton’s percentage was lower than Leicester’s last season.

“Maresca is so embedded in that Guardiola style of play that he was always going to attract interest when he was able to make that style successful – and that’s what he’s done at Leicester,” Jordan Blackwell, Leicester correspondent at the Leicester Mercury, told Sky Sports.

“It felt like the club had thought outside the box to bring Maresca in, a man with a lot of tactical knowledge whose acumen has been raved about. That’s not only as Pep’s assistant but with Man City U21s and a first-team coach at West Ham.”

What’s top of Maresca’s Chelsea in-tray?

Enzo Maresca's Chelsea in-tray

Head coach almost in the bag, Chelsea’s attention now turns to improving Maresca’s squad, writes Joe Shread. Despite signing two goalkeepers last summer, the Blues want a new No 1 – unsurprising given Djordje Petrovic’s frailties.

The departure of Thiago Silva necessitates the signing of a new centre-back. Tosin Adarabioyo, who is out of contract at Fulham, has been offered a deal but is also wanted by Newcastle.

Reece James and Ben Chilwell’s never-ending injury issues could lead Chelsea to target new full-backs, while their search for a proven No 9 continues – despite a combined £84m outlay on forwards Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku last summer.

Jackson showed flashes of promise during his debut season – scoring 14 goals in 31 starts – but is not the dependable target man Chelsea have been crying out for, perhaps dating all the way back to the departure of Diego Costa in 2017.

The Boehly-Clearlake ownership has sanctioned more than £1bn of transfer spending since arriving two years ago. Expect that to continue.

‘Champion’s mentality’ – Chelsea appoint Maresca as head coach

Chelsea have appointed Enzo Maresca as their new head coach.

The 44-year-old, who succeeds Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge, moves from Leicester after leading them back to the Premier League by winning the Championship.

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SSN Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol tells us what incoming Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca will bring with him to Stamford Bridge.

Maresca has signed a five-year deal – with the option for a further 12 months – at Stamford Bridge and was Chelsea’s No 1 choice from a shortlist including Brentford’s Thomas Frank, Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna and Roberto De Zerbi, who left Brighton at the end of the season.

A statement from Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea’s co-sporting directors, said: “We are delighted to welcome Enzo to Chelsea. He has proven himself to be an excellent coach capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style.

“Enzo has deeply impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club. We thoroughly look forward to working with him.”

Maresca said: “To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach. It is why I am so excited by this opportunity.

“I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Chelsea are understood to have paid between £8m and £10m to release Maresca from his Leicester contract.

Willy Caballero, Danny Walker, Michele De Bernardin, Marcos Alvarez, Javi Molina and Roberto Vitiello join Maresca at Chelsea having also worked with him at Leicester.

Chelsea have also confirmed the arrival of Bernardo Cueva from Brentford as the lead of their set-piece department.

The process to appoint Maresca was led by Winstanley and Stewart, who held face-to-face talks with the head coach in Marbella last week.

Chelsea were understood to be impressed by Maresca’s “champion’s mentality” and the depth of the Italian’s knowledge about their squad in talks with his representatives, as well as his focus on the way the team want to play and his desire for the job.

Maresca’s obsession with possession and positional play made him the leading candidate to replace Pochettino, who left by mutual consent just two days after guiding Chelsea to a sixth-place Premier League finish.

The length of Maresca’s contract reflects that Chelsea are focused on bringing long-term success back to the club, with senior figures at the club believing he will be the final piece of the jigsaw to fit into the new, modern structure they have built.

Chelsea expect to be busy in the transfer market this summer, with players coming and going. Trading is likely to see the signing of a new No 9 and centre-back, while the futures of high-earners such as Romelu Lukaku and Kepa Arrizabalaga need to be resolved.

‘Chelsea feel Maresca is the one for them’

Enzo
Image:
Enzo Maresca had a brief spell at Parma before guiding Leicester back into the Premier League

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Chelsea have had a very thorough process with Kieran McKenna, Thomas Frank and Roberto De Zerbi all considered, but they feel Maresca is the one for them.

“The others were all very impressive candidates, but Chelsea feel at this moment in time that Maresca is the man for them and he shares their vision for the future.

“He’s only been a manager for one-and-a-half seasons. He was a manager at Parma in the Italian second division and then he got the Leicester job.

“There have been some issues behind the scenes and not all Leicester fans have been completely happy with him, even though he got them promotion back to the Premier League.

“There were problems about recruitment and problems around the fact that Leicester have been charged for allegedly breaking PSR (Profitability and Sustainability Rules). They’re also under a transfer embargo from the EFL.

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Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz and Simeon Gholam take a look at what Leicester’s Enzo Maresca and Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna could bring to the Premier League and why they’re in such high demand

“There have been issues but Chelsea just want a head coach. They want somebody who is going to coach the first-team squad and deal with the media. Everything else, they feel they have in place.

“You have to remember that Mikel Arteta didn’t have any prior experience of having managed in the Premier League before joining Arsenal but he had worked under Pep Guardiola, which is exactly the same as Maresca.

“I’m not saying he’s a better manager than Arteta but he has more experience than he did when he took over at Arsenal.

“Don’t underestimate the Pep effect. If you’ve worked under Guardiola, you’ve got a head-start when going for these sorts of jobs. However, you still have to impress, which Maresca has done during these talks.

“I’ve been told that his knowledge of the Chelsea squad, including the youth team players, is encyclopaedic.”