Premier League

Premier League clubs warned as Chelsea criticised for ‘swap deals’

Ian Maatsen

The Premier League have written to all 20 clubs warning of punishments over potentially fraudulent ‘swap deals’ between each other this summer.

Chelsea, Aston Villa and Everton have all been accused of doing business with each other to help their attempts to avoid punishments for breaches of Profit & Sustainability Rules (PSR), with the trio all known to be in need of funds before the accountancy deadline of June 30.

Chelsea have agreed to sell Ian Maatsen to Villa for £37.5m but raised eyebrows after agreeing to sign 18-year-old midfielder Omari Kellyman for £19m, despite the fact the teenager has just 148 minutes of senior football to his name.

Villa have also sold midfielder Tim Iroegbunam to Everton for £9m, with Lewis Dobbin moving in the opposite direction for £10m.

According to The Telegraph, Premier League officials have contacted all 20 clubs to warn them that all transfers will be scrutinised, and any clubs found to be doing business purely to avoid financial sanctions could face punishments.

Ian Maatsen

Ian Maatsen is joining Aston Villa from Chelsea / Catherine Ivill – AMA/GettyImages

The Premier League can request details of transfer negotiations between two clubs to determine whether all involved have acted in good faith.

They have the power to impose fair market value rules, which are designed to avoid clubs giving false values to players to aid their finances. Manchester City’s acquisition of winger Savio from Troyes, a club owned by City Football Group, faced the same scrutiny.

Transfer fees can be returned if it is decided that the two clubs have acted dishonestly.

Clubs have until June 30 to close the books on their financial year and must show that they avoided losses of £105m across a three-year period if they want to steer clear of PSR punishments.


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