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The Premier League’s attempt to prohibit clubs from including profits from the sale of club assets in their Financial Fair Play submissions has been unsuccessful.

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Chelsea’s controversial deal, involving the sale of two hotels to a sister company of the BlueCo 22 ownership group for £76.5 million, sparked significant debate. This transaction allowed them to remain under the threshold for the 2022/23 financial reports.

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Despite efforts by the Premier League, only 11 out of the required 14 clubs supported the move to close the loophole. Consequently, clubs are still permitted to utilize such sales to bolster their compliance with Profit and Sustainability Rules.

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This is the second instance where the Premier League has proposed closing this loophole. While the English Football League successfully banned the use of such profits after a surge in cases in 2021, Premier League officials did not garner enough interest from clubs to proceed with a vote at the time.

Although a formal vote was held on Thursday, it was once again rejected due to concerns regarding the specificity of the proposed ban.

The wording used by the Premier League reportedly led to division among clubs, with some expressing apprehension that it did not differentiate between legitimate non-football revenue streams, such as building hotels, houses, or indoor arenas, and accounting maneuvers like selling existing property to oneself.

It is anticipated that the league will make a renewed effort to close this loophole in the near future. However, as it currently stands, Premier League teams retain the liberty to leverage asset sales, such as stadiums, training grounds, and hotels, to enhance their financial standing.

Thursday’s vote also included an informal agreement to trial a new “anchoring” system aimed at curbing the aggressive spending of the wealthiest clubs. This system will tie spending to the media and sponsorship income generated by the team finishing bottom of the division. However, formal implementation is contingent upon the analysis of next season’s trial results.

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