Search icon


22nd Feb 2024

Chelsea may accept ban from Europe if they win Carabao Cup

Callum Boyle

Chelsea Carabao Cup

Carabao Cup winners get a place in the following season’s Conference League

Chelsea may explore the possibility of accepting a ban from European football if they win the Carabao Cup on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side take on Liverpool in the final at Wembley Stadium this weekend as they look to win the first major piece of silverware this season.

The winner of the Carabao Cup is rewarded with a place in next year’s Conference League – UEFA’s third tier competition.

It would also mean that the west London club would be vulnerable to UEFA’s financial restrictions, which are tighter than the Premier League’s.

Chelsea Carabao Cup

Chelsea could follow same path as AC Milan in 2019/2020

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire told  The Athletic that Chelsea would fail to “make money” from competing in the Conference League and may seek a similar solution to what AC Milan did in 2019/2020 and step away to comply with financial rules.

“It could be in Chelsea’s interests to do the same as Milan. We’re moving into the realms of three-dimensional chess here, which some clubs are capable of playing,” he said.

“By the time you pay the players’ bonuses for qualifying for the competition, transport, accommodation and other costs, you’re only making a small amount of money from the Conference League.

“You’ll struggle to get a decent number of fans to attend Stamford Bridge if the opposition is modest. That isn’t a criticism of them. It’s modern-day economics.

“If they are exceeding the UEFA limits, the question becomes: ‘Do we want to go and play in the Conference League next season?’. Because they won’t make any money from it.”

Chelsea Carabao Cup

Chelsea walking financial tightrope

As part of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules, clubs are permitted to lose up to £105m over a three-year period.

Chelsea only just fell on the right side of these rules however in Europe, clubs are only allowed to make losses of up to £68.5m over the previous two years as well as various other factors that they would fail to meet.

During the 2022/23 season, Chelsea earned £82m from getting to the last 16 of the Champions League whereas West Ham received just £16m for winning the Conference League.

Related links: