How Chelsea will look in the post-Abramovic world


It wasn’t the first time Todd Boehly had been to Stamford Bridge on a Saturday, but it was the first time he’d been there as specified by the new owners. Chelsea’s A 2-2 draw with Wolves. A consortium he leads signed a deal to acquire Chelsea last week, and the sale will continue as long as the Premier League and the UK government approve.

The Premier League approval should be formal, but some bureaucratic difficulties may remain with the government, effectively coercing the sale by sanctioning Roman Abramovich after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It should be paid in a way that the Russian oligarchy does not appear to have benefited. After some doubts last week, Abramovich has repeatedly stated that he will not ask for the repayment of the £1.5 billion ($1.85 billion) he spent with the club for 19 years. All net proceeds from sales will be donated.” He had previously said that the foundation should support “all victims” of the war in Ukraine. However, it is not clear what “net revenue” means.

It’s also unclear why Boehly and his consortium had to agree to a high price of £4.25 billion. This includes a certain amount (£1.75 billion over 10 years) for investment in the club and infrastructure, as requested by Abramovich, but most external assessments suggest that the value of the club is about half what it would pay. This suggests expectations for a change in the competition format or broadcasting rights structure that will dramatically increase the profits of big clubs. This could be reasonable given that UEFA voted this week on a revised and expanded format for the Champions League group stage.

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If he had been at Stamford Bridge after watching Abramovich for a few years, the contrast with Boehly was striking when he clapped blankly from the manager’s seat. He was puzzled by the fact that the first half VAR decision (very slowly given how clear it was that Ruben Loftus-Cheek was offside) scored a goal in the first half. He stood up, clapped and whistled as Chelsea took the lead, and conceded two goals late in a 2-2 draw, which resulted in some doubts about qualifying for the Champions League next season. Chelsea are in third place after Wednesday’s match against relegated Leeds. Arsenal are one point behind and Tottenham are five points behind.

It’s amazing how the team looks now, given that Chelsea remain European champions for at least two weeks and it looked like Chelsea could try to win a title just four months ago. A summer of spending has always been a possibility. Whoever the new owner is, they will be generous and interested in more than just profits (of course the majority of modern owners are in the club for some kind of profit, be it financial or reputation, only to convince the fans to put their stamp on the club. .

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Boehly’s Los Angeles Dodgers are the highest paid in baseball, and there appears to be a conscious policy of adding superstars to an already loaded and accomplished team. This may inspire Chelsea fans, but the approach may simply not be replicable as football is much less about the individual than building a cohesive network. However, it is known that chairman Bruce Buck, manager Marina Granovskaia and manager Thomas Tuchel will all remain after the acquisition is completed.

Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea’s most expensive signing and has scored two goals on Saturday, but it is already clear that he and Tuchel are not eyeing each other. Considering that it was his first Premier League goal in 2022, few so far. It suggests he can turn Chelsea’s familiar possession football into a finished opportunity.

Investing in the core of the defense is necessary, especially given that Thiago Silva is 37 and Cesar Aspilicueta is 32, as Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are almost certain to expire and move to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. . In midfield, meanwhile, N’Golo Kanté and Jorginho (31 and 30 respectively) are entering their final year of contract. Conor Gallagher’s return to Crystal Palace in Loftus-Cheek’s form and a very impressive loan could relieve some of the pressure, but the decision will have to be made there. And Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are also completely convincing players this season.

Conversely, it is almost certain that new contracts will be offered for Mason Mount and Reece James, two players who are sure to go through the club academy and become a major part of Chelsea and England’s future. This week there were reports of Monaco midfielder Aurelian Chuameni suggesting a move for Real Madrid, although a long-term target.

However, you cannot do anything until the sale is complete and the special licenses operated by Chelsea expire at the end of the month. Slowly, the uncertainty surrounding the club is easing, but it may still be years before Abramovic’s post-Abramovic future really begins to shape.

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