Unofficial transfer deadline looms for clubs to comply with PSR

Douglas Luiz, wearing Aston Villa's blue away strip, looks over his right shoulder and stares to the right of the camera

Premier League clubs have been preparing for what has been described as the 'unofficial transfer deadline day' on Sunday.

To avoid charges and possible points deductions clubs must be compliant with profit and sustainability rules (PSR) - and 30 June is a key date.

Officially the summer transfer window does not close until Friday, 30 August but, as Nottingham Forest discovered to their cost last season, some Premier League clubs need to get business done now.

Why is 30 June so important?

Sunday marks the end of the financial year in the Premier League, meaning clubs need to ensure they are compliant with PSR as they submit their accounts.

Clubs cannot lose more than £105m over a three-year period – and even less if they have spent some of that period in the Championship.

Deals cannot be processed on 30 June itself, as it is not a working day, so some transfers may not be confirmed and registered until Monday.

Several clubs are believed to need to sell and last weekend about £75m in deals were agreed, more than the £30m spent on transfer deadline day in January - and close to the £100m outlay across the Premier League in the whole of January 2024.

Selling academy players generates 100% profit for clubs to put into their accounts, while the amount paid by the buying club is spread out - using an accounting practice called amortisation - over the length of the contract.

So if two clubs agree to sell players to each other, especially academy players, it provides a significant financial boost.

Omari Kellyman spreads his arms and runs while wearing Aston Villa's claret and blue home kit

Who has been active?

Aston Villa, Everton and Chelsea have been busy since the window opened on 14 June.

Villa recorded a loss of £119m in their last accounts, dating 31 May, 2023, so needed to move quickly to avoid any breach.

Everton were docked six points last season for two separate breaches while Chelsea have spent around £1bn since the Todd Boehly-led consortium's takeover in 2023.

The majority of those Chelsea signings were signed to at least six-year deals to spread payments across a long period, limiting the losses per year to help meet PSR requirements.

What deals are already done?

Villa and Everton have done business with each other, Lewis Dobbin moving to Villa Park and Tim Iroegbunam joining the Toffees, each for reported fees of about £9m.

Villa are also selling Omari Kellyman to Chelsea for £19m just two years after signing him from Derby for £600,000. The midfielder has made just six appearances for the club.

Expect some of these deals to be confirmed this weekend.

Ian Maatsen, meanwhile, Chelsea’s defender who spent the second half of last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund, has moved to Villa for £35m.

A head and shoulders picture of Ian Maatsen looking at the camera with his bottom lip tucked in while playing for Borussia Dortmund
Maatsen spent the second half of last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund [Getty Images]

Why are some deals under spotlight?

The Premier League has written to every club after “a significant number requested clarification” following the recent swap deals.

Some clubs are concerned that rivals could be looking to sell each other players in order to exploit any loopholes in PSR and therefore limit their losses.

There is no suggestion clubs have broken the rules but they have been told by the league’s director of governance that part of a transfer fee would have to be returned by the selling club if it decides a fee had been “inflated”.

Who else could move?

Douglas Luiz’s players-plus-cash transfer from Villa to Juventus is expected to go through soon.

Villa had medicals booked in for Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea this week, while Luiz’s was scheduled for Las Vegas on Thursday as he is away with Brazil for the Copa America.

Leicester - who are already facing one charge for an alleged PSR breach - were put under a transfer embargo by the EFL in March but that ended once they became a Premier League club, following the top flight’s AGM earlier this month.

Midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall represents their best sellable asset, given he came through the club’s academy and will generate pure profit.

Chelsea have had a bid rejected but talks are ongoing, and Brighton also have an interest.

Everton also rejected a £35m bid from Manchester United for defender Jarrad Branthwaite earlier this month.

Villa reportedly turned down £20m plus Giovani lo Celso from Tottenham for Jacob Ramsey, while Southampton and West Ham are discussing a move which would see Saints defender Kyle Walker-Peters move to the Hammers and midfielder Flynn Downes head in the other direction.