£40m blunder - Chelsea stars will avoid cost of Champions League failure
Unlike many of their rivals, Chelsea have not put clauses into the contracts of their players guarding against missing out on the Champions League
Chelsea players will suffer no financial hit if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League with the club braced to pay the price for not playing in Europe’s elite competition.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that, unlike many of their rivals, Chelsea have not put clauses into the contracts of their players guarding against missing out on the Champions League.
It means that while Chelsea will miss out on at least £40m, the club’s huge wage bill will stay the same as players such as Eden Hazard, their top earner on £200,000 per week, remain on their full salaries.
The new Premier League television deal will soften the blow and should ensure that Chelsea can meet Financial Fair Play rules, but the club’s wage bill without European football could impact on the level of spending they can undertake in the summer.
It could also be taken into consideration if Chelsea receive enormous bids for any star players, although nobody will be sold if the club are placed under a transfer embargo following Fifa’s investigation into their signing of Bertrand Traoré.
Diego Costa remains keen on a return to Spain while Hazard and Thibaut Courtois will be targeted by Europe’s richest clubs if, as expected, Chelsea miss out on Champions League qualification. Chelsea have already started bringing money into the club through transfers this month, with a £20m-plus bid for Ramires from Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning deemed too good to turn down and Newcastle United target Loïc Remy edging towards the exit door.
While many of the top Premier League and European clubs have moved to an incentive-based wage system, Chelsea have stuck to a more straightforward model.
Chelsea players only receive bonuses for winning trophies, rather than receiving performance-related cash boosts.
The club’s wage bill for the year up to June 2015 was the highest in the Premier League at £215.6m after they paid out bonuses for winning the title and the Capital One Cup. The club’s model means that their players get paid the same whether they finish third or 13th, where they currently lie, if they do not win a cup.
A source who deals with the finances of a number of top Premier League and European footballers told The Daily Telegraph that it is now often the case that wages can drop by as much as 20pc for the failure to qualify for the Champions League, but Chelsea do not operate that system.
Chelsea received a cash boost at the end of the last transfer window, when they recouped around £10m as part of Kevin de Bruyne’s move to Manchester City thanks to a sell-on clause inserted by director Marina Granovskaia.
The Blues will also be due a series of add-on payments if Everton sell Romelu Lukaku this summer.
Charly Musonda has become the latest of Chelsea’s highly-rated youngsters to go out on loan after joining Spanish club Real Betis on an initial six-month deal.