There's little doubting that UEFA's new Financial Fair Play regulations have altered the way Chelsea approach the transfer market in recent seasons, and Jose Mourinho spent some time on Sunday speaking about FFP:
"I think Financial Fair Play is a contradiction because, when football decided to go for Financial Fair Play it was exactly to put teams in equal conditions to compete. But what happened really with the Financial Fair Play is a big protection to the historical, old, big clubs, which have a financial structure, a commercial structure, everything in place based on historical success for years and years and years."
"And the 'new' clubs - I call them 'new' clubs, those with new investment - they cannot put themselves quickly at the same level. Clubs with new owners cannot immediately attack the control and the domination of these big clubs."
"Chelsea is not an old, historical, huge club - but it's also not a club with a new owner. It's a club with the same owner for more than 10 years. A club with a very important history, with great stability too. And at this moment I think we are just below them. I can say we are a very good club with the ambition to be a great club."
I have a hard time disagreeing with Mourinho's take on what the regulations are accomplishing, as there's nothing about the Financial Fair Play regulations actually designed to create a competitive financial environment. The regulations was obviously designed with Europe's traditional giants in mind, allowing them to spend considerably more than their local rivals, without the threat of a new Chelsea, PSG, or Manchester City springing up.
That said, the rules certainly do favor Chelsea, as the club were already well established as an elite club before those regulations ever came into play. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich will certainly all have an ability to spend that Chelsea just can't match at the moment, but those four clubs aside, there's nobody else out there with the ability to blow Chelsea out of the water in terms of wages and transfer fees. There's also plenty of reason to believe that the gap will be closing in short order, as the Spanish clubs look set to have their domestic television revenues frozen in the new TV deal. The regulations are pretty stupid, and there's nothing fair about them, but they'll help Chelsea far more than they hurt them.