Introducing the Chelsea player wage database

As the clouds of FFP begin to cast a shadow over Stamford Bridge, we need to start viewing player acquisitions in a new light - Jamie McDonald

This comprehensive wage database contains everything you could ever want to know about Chelsea's contracts, wages, and the impact they have on FFP compliance.

Just a few years ago, we were blessed with the good fortune* to be able to discuss player acquisitions simply in terms of how they would fit in with the club on the pitch.  However, as the clouds of Financial Fair Play begin to cast a shadow over Stamford Bridge, we need to start looking at player acquisitions in a new light.

*and by "the good," of course I mean "Roman's"

While tactical analysis and performance metrics will obviously be the first things we look at when projecting whether a particular player acquisition makes sense for the club (and rightly so), player wages and transfer fees have been interjecting themselves into the conversation with increasing regularity.

Whether you welcome the finances of player acquisition into the discussion or you wish you hadn't joined the conversation in the first place, the economic realities of European football have assured that the impact of transfer fees and wages on clubs' FFP bottom line will be highlighted whenever a new deal is signed.

Following up on the FFP monstrosity I subjected you to the other day, I now present the most comprehensive Chelsea wage database on the planet. The first of its kind, this comprehensive wage database contains everything you could ever want to know about Chelsea's contracts, wages, and the impact they have on FFP compliance.

An inordinate amount of work went into researching the contractual terms.  However, since some figures aren't made available and/or sources were widely varied in the reported figures, some of the wages are educated guesses based on Chelsea's past practises and an averaging (of sorts) of the reported figures (specifically, some of the lads who have recently come up from the Academy and Kenneth Omeruo's transfer fee).

Ideally, this database will provide us with a unique tool to utilise when discussing the financial implications of any and all potential player acquisitions.

A few notes on the research methodology and the database features -

  • The database will be updated on a regular basis to account for future player movement.
  • The annual FFP cost reflects both the annual salary and the amortised transfer fee.  I've listed the amortised transfer fee and weekly wages in separate columns so you can see how each expenditure impacts the total FFP cost of the player.
  • In cases where there were multiple reported figures, I always erred on the conservative side.  That is, I always used a higher figure or average when presented with different figures from multiple sources.
  • The database can be opened in another (bigger) window by clicking the icon in the bottom-right corner.  There are a number of different search functions included within the database, so feel free to play around with it.
  • The database will be updated on a regular basis to account for future player movement.
  • I have included a simple break-even calculator at the bottom of the spreadsheet.  I projected that Chelsea will meet the break-even mandate for the 2011-2012 accounting period by £46.9m.  In arriving at this projection, I used Chelsea's 2011-2012 financial statement, Deloitte's annual reports on football finance, the Swiss Ramble*, and of course, my trusty copy of the FFP regulations. The estimate is subject to change.

* Note the Swiss Ramble article is from 2012 and focuses mostly on 2010-2011 (the year prior to the first FFP monitoring period).  When the article was written, Chelsea hadn't yet filed its 2011-2012 financial statement. Regardless, that article is a great resource for anyone wanting a better understanding of how to read a financial statement through the lens of FFP.

I will most likely follow up with an article detailing some highlights and interesting trends that can be found in the database. In advance, I'll throw out a few facts and figures that jumped out at me -

  • Chelsea is on the hook for an estimated £21m this season in FFP wage costs for players the club has sent out on loan.  This is a good example of the hidden costs of player development (money well spent in my eyes, but the figure is worth noting).
  • Victor Moses' loan to Liverpool reduces his FFP cost from £3.36m to just £300k this season.
  • The sacking of Dagestan (or, the acquisitions of Willian and Eto'o) will cost £17.8m this season.  Edinson Cavani will cost PSG £19.3m this season.

Does anything in particular jump out at you?  If you find something interesting, be sure let the rest of us know in the comments section.

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