At this point, in football, we are already used to millionaires who buy a club and make a huge investment of money to bring in important players and managers. This has become a very frequent practice in recent times, and although there have already been several previous cases, possibly the one that made it a bit of a fashion was Roman Abramovich when he bought Chelsea in 2003. The Russian’s 19 years at the helm of the London club were the most successful in the history of the Blues, but these ended due to political situations that forced Abramovich to sell Chelsea.
The new visible face of the club’s ownership is Todd Boehly, an American millionaire who has had a less than striking stint during his management of Chelsea that has barely been over a year so far but already has an investment of approximately one billion euros. Boehly had already promised to invest heavily in the club to achieve their goals on the pitch, and although he fulfilled the first part of the promise, the results were not achieved, at least in the first season, where they finished 12th in the Premier League.
Boehly’s management covers three transfer windows (with one currently open), starting in the summer of 2022, where the signings of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, and Wesley Fofana stood out, with each player costing more than 50 million euros. In the January transfer window 2023, the American’s spending was even higher and brought players like Enzo Fernández and Mykhailo Mudryk, who cost more than 200 million euros together. This is without mentioning Joao Félix’s loan from Atletico Madrid for six months, which involved an investment of 10 million euros, is one of the most expensive loans in football history.
In the current transfer market, Chelsea has spent more than 300 million euros and with options to make a few more transfers. The signing of Moisés Caicedo was for around 113 million euros, which is surprising for a player with little more than one season in the Premier League. Chelsea have used a strategy in which they offer long-term contracts to their signings to split the cost for Financial Fair Play purposes and, thus, avoid sanctions by UEFA.
In 2003, when Chelsea were bought by Abramovich, in Barcelona, Joan Laporta took over as president of the Blaugrana club for the first time, and at that time, the idea was to change all the players and staff that came from the previous presidency except for the that they were from the house, that is, players or staff trained at the club. In this way, signings such as Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Deco, Giuly, or Rafa Márquez were made, and more continuity was given to youngsters from the club such as Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol, Xavi or Iniesta.
Without official confirmation, it seems that Boehly is trying to do something similar since, along with a large number of transfers, there has been a parallel departure of players who remained from the Abramovich era as well as sales to other clubs, highlighting the cases of Havertz, Kovacic, Mount or Mendy, like those of players whose contracts were not renewed like Azpilicueta or Kante. There are still players who came to the club before Boehly, although there are very few like Thiago Silva or Chilwell, leaving aside those who are the product of the youth setup like Reece James or Conor Gallagher.
It seems that the intention of the American is to make a total change in the team that allows the club’s future success to be attributed to his management, noting that the vast majority of the players he brought are young and can still give the club a lot in the next five years or even a decade. Everything will depend on the management of said talent and the bases of the project.