Chelsea's new owner Todd Boehly entered the Premier League with a bang in May. Together with Behdad Eghbali (Clearlake Capital), Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss he bought Chelsea from Roman Abramovich for five billion euros in the largest football club takeover in history.
"Our commitment is to get as much talent as possible, investing for the long term," confessed Boehly who has more than fulfilled the first part and accelerated the second. He has wasted no time since taking over at Stamford Bridge: first he restructured the management and sporting side - director Marina Granovskaia, chairman Bruce Buck and technical adviser Petr Cech left the club - and then he shook up the market.
In the summer he signed Wesley Fofana (80.4 million euros), Marc Cucurella (65.3), Raheem Sterling (56.2), Kalidou Koulibaly (38), Carney Chukwuemeka (18), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (12), Gabriel Slonina (9.1) and Denis Zakaria (loan for 3) for 282 million euros.
No team in Europe matched his spending... but it wasn't enough: Chelsea sacked Thomas Tuchel after his inconsistent start and some friction. "We weren't sure Thomas shared our vision," Boehly said. However, Graham Potter's arrival did not straighten the Blues' fortunes: they are tenth, ten points behind the Champions League places, a crisis that they want to fix in the market.
With Christopher Vivell - former RB Leipzig sporting director - and Paul Winstanley - former Brighton scouting director - Chelsea have spent 178.5m euros in January on Mudryk (70+30), Badiashile (38), Madueke (35), Andrey Santos (12.5), Datro Fofana (12) and Joao Felix (11, loan). They have spent more than the other four big leagues combined!
Between the Bundesliga (49.4), LaLiga (24.1), Ligue 1 (19.3) and Serie A (9), they barely add up to 101.8m. Even adding the Primeira Liga (22.3) and the Eredivisie (17) does not add up to 141m.
31 players and 460.5 million with Boehly
Chelsea are the first team in history to spend over 400m euros on transfers in a season. The 460.5m they have spent on 14 players is enough to make a full eleven and exceeds the investment of Abramovich's last three seasons (410.2).
They are also record-breaking. Only Barcelona (380.1m in 2017-18), Real Madrid (355.5m in 2019-20) and Manchester City (317.5m in 2017-18) had broken the 300m euro mark. Boehly has shattered it after eight months at the Bridge. And there is still more to come by expanding a squad with an overbooked dressing room. They have 31 players and thus will have to make sales.
Why do they sign so many players?
Kieran Maguire, professor and head of the economic portal Price of Football, explains to MARCA the Blues' modus operandi: "They have spread the cost with unusually long contracts. According to the rules, 100 percent of the sale of a player counts towards Fair Play in that season, but the cost of the purchase is spread over the years of the contract."
Mudryk (2031) and Badiashile (2030) are part of this plan. "Other clubs have a long-term strategy. If the players they have signed go wrong, they will have to keep them for a long time. It's a high risk gamble," he explains.
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