The start of the post-Roman Abramovich era is proving rough at the Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have won just one of their last eight Premier League games and they are 10th in the table, 10 points off the Champions League spots and 19 points off leaders Arsenal despite new owner Todd Boehly having spent big since taking over.
At the end of May, the American consortium that consists of Boehly, Behdad Eghbali, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss acquired the club for nearly five billion euros.
And it took less than four months for the Los Angeles Lakers shareholder and Dodgers owner to change things at the Blues.
Chairman Bruce Buck, sporting director Marina Granovskaia and technical advisor Petr Cech all departed in the summer from a club that then fired Champions League-winning coach Thomas Tuchel and signed Graham Potter in September.
« As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the Club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition, » a Chelsea statement read at the time.
« Chelsea‘s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the Club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach. »
Boehly became the interim sporting director and Christopher Vivell was appointed as technical director in December. What hasn’t changed is that Chelsea are still spending big to sign players.
« Chelsea are building the most exciting project in global football and I’m extremely proud to be joining the club, » said Vivell.
« There is so much potential for the club to continue to succeed, develop and grow. Under the new ownership, Graham Potter and the broader sporting team, there is a clear and sustainable philosophy underpinned by performance analysis, data and innovation, and I am looking forward to playing a part in that. »
The Blues have spent 332 million euros on transfers since Boehly‘s arrival seven months ago. The latest player to arrive was Benoit Badiashile, who joined for 38m euros from Monaco in the club’s bid to strengthen a defense which already boasts Wesley Fofana, who joined from Leicester City for 80m euros, as well as Marc Cucurella (Brighton, 65m euros) and Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, 38m euros).
Chelsea invested as many as 282m euros in signings last summer to bring in Raheem Sterling (Manchester City, 56m euros), Carney Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa, 18m euros), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona, 12m euros), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire, nine million euros) and Denis Zakaria (on loan from Juventus).
Meanwhile, they made just 56m euros after offloading Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Emerson Palmieri (West Ham), Billy Gilmour (Brighton), Romelu Lukaku (Inter), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso (Barcelona).
Kings of the market
Manchester United (240m euros), West Ham (182m euros), Tottenham Hotspur (170m euros) and Nottingham Forest (162m euros) have also spent big, but none of these clubs have splashed out the figures that Chelsea have invested in the last months.
« I’m the head coach so my responsibility is to the players that are here and then we’ll try to improve in every window, » Potter noted.
« January is a complicated one because it’s the middle of the season and in the meantime, we have to deal with all the noise of Chelsea being linked with everybody. »
For the time being, Chelsea have also placed Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez and Shakhtar Donetsk forward Mykhailo Mudryk on their radar.
As for the ‘Abramovich era’ between 2003 and 2022, the club invested 2,340 million euros in signings, with their record in one season being back in 2017/18, when they invested 260m euros in signings.
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