The Premier League‘s chief executive has suggested Chelsea will have to sell players to balance the books and keep within financial fair play regulations.

Todd Boehly has overseen spending of more than £600m across the past two transfer windows since leading the consortium that bought the London club from Roman Abramovich last year.

The Blues’ exorbitant spending has drawn widespread criticism, particularly from La Liga president Javier Tebas who claims it is inflating and distorting the transfer market.

But Richard Masters is adamant that Chelsea can still stay within the Premier League’s financial regulations, provided they sell players.

“I’m not here to defend [Chelsea],” Masters said. “The new owners have owned the club for less than a year. They’ve had two transfer windows.

“You need to judge a football club after three or four years. And they could argue, I would suggest, it’s a different transfer policy to the previous regime. Players on longer contracts and lower wages.

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“Within our rules it’s a test over a 12-month period. So the question is whether they are going to sell some of those existing players in the next window. I don’t know the answer to that question. I’m not here to defend them, but you have to judge things over a period of time.”

Chelsea have used amortisation rules to spread the financial outlay across multiple seasons as a way to stay within financial limits.

Under the rules, a club can divide the transfer fee of a player over the number of years they are under contract and include the figure in each year’s accounts that are analysed by Premier League inspectors to ensure they have not overspent. Chelsea have signed young players on contracts up to nine years in length.

In Spain, La Liga governs how much each club can spend, analysing their finances and giving them a budget for each transfer window. But Masters does not believe that is the right approach for the Premier League to adopt.

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“The current profit and sustainability rules we have at the moment allow people to invest against revenue,” Masters told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit. “They’re deliberately designed to do that. In order that clubs can create competitive squads. But within constraints.

“You’ve got moderated risk. We think that’s the right method, to have the current financial rules and everyone has to stick to them. As I understand it in Spain you get a budget every transfer window and that’s not the way the Premier League has worked or how I believe it should in the future.”

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