When they want to be, football fans can be vicious. On a night when £106.8 million signing Enzo Fernandez made his Premier League debut as the most expensive transfer and £88 million player Mykhailo Mudryk played just 45 minutes of his first home game, the Fulham fans at Stamford Bridge started singing, “What a waste of money!” as Chelsea headed toward a 0-0 draw against their local rivals. For the best sports betting casinos of February 2023, make sure you stick with CasinoDaddy!
Chelsea’s current issue is that, given the club’s great recent recruitment effort, the song might have been aimed at any one of manager Graham Potter’s players. Three days after completing his record-breaking deal from Benfica, Fernandez made an impact in his defensive midfield role for the London club, pushing Chelsea’s spending on transfers since the conclusion of the previous season above the £600 million mark.
With a $227 million investment in new players, Manchester United is a distant second in the Premier League spending chart this season. Chelsea spent £323 million in January alone, which is more than the sum of what teams in Serie A, LaLiga, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 spent throughout the winter transfer window. But what did Chelsea wind up with after going through the best players in Europe like a supermarket?
During his debut game, Fernandez—a World Cup champion with Argentina in Qatar—appeared to be a gentleman and a wise investment. There was no indication that the 22-year-old would be bothered by the title of Premier League’s most expensive player, taking over for Manchester City’s winger Jack Grealish, who cost £100 million. But given that Fernandez just recently made his 30th senior appearance in European football after joining Benfica for just £10.7 million last summer, it is reasonable to wonder if Chelsea has taken a big risk by making this as well as previous signings.
Mudryk, who made his debut against Liverpool last month and had an exhilarating cameo as a substitute, was less impressive against Fulham and was taken off at halftime due to a severe cold. Chelsea outbid Arsenal to sign the Ukrainian international from Shakhtar Donetsk, and it appears that they did so without taking into account the high asking price.
Additionally playing for Fulham were Benoit Badiashile ($33.7m) and David Datro Fofana ($10m). When Tim Ream of Fulham blocked Fofana’s goal-bound effort in the 79th minute, the game was unlucky not to be won. Badiashile looked confident at the back and had an imposing presence beside Thiago Silva.
However, the unfortunate truth for Chelsea and Potter is that a starting lineup that cost a total of £470 million once again fell short. With eight league victories in 21 games, Chelsea is ninth in the standings, nine points back of fourth-place Manchester United for the last Champions League spot. They have only scored 22 goals, somewhat more than their one-goal-per-game average.
Therefore, despite all of their investment, Chelsea doesn’t produce much. Wesley Fofana, a £75 million defender, has only appeared in four games for the team owing to injury issues, while summer acquisitions Raheem Sterling (£47 million) and Marc Cucurella (£60 million) have yet to demonstrate that they are worth their transfer costs. The £4.25 billion acquisition of the club was finalized last May, and less than a year later, Chelsea’s new owners have already spent more than a quarter of the £2 billion that Roman Abramovich spent on players over the course of his 19-year reign.
Because of Chelsea’s expensive and limitless spending, there have been rumors that FIFA and UEFA are preparing to enact new laws that would stop clubs from skirting Financial Fair Play (FFP) requirements by paying for players over the course of abnormally long contracts. Football players typically sign four- or five-year contracts, with the transfer fee recorded on the club’s balance sheet split by the term of the deal. Therefore, theoretically, a player worth £100 million on a five-year deal would be recorded as costing £ 20 million per year for the term of their contract.
Fernandez, however, agreed to an eight-and-a-half-year deal when he finalized his move from Benfica, so amortization will result in a £12.5 million valuation for him on Chelsea’s books. On the day of the transfer deadline, Chelsea practically erased the value of the first year of Fernandez’s contract off their balance sheet for this fiscal year by selling Jorginho to Arsenal for £12 million.
The team hasn’t breached any laws; instead, it has just taken advantage of a gap in the law that permits such accounting procedures to be used. However, it is probable that the game’s administrators will raise that specific drawbridge as soon as possible. However, the buying binge at Stamford Bridge on Friday aroused questions from Chelsea’s opponents, including Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City.
Spending a lot of money on City and Chelsea under Abramovich ultimately led to great success. But each time, the hiring process was clever and well-planned. Chelsea’s transfer activities, though, have thus far under their new owners seemed haphazard and excessive. How clever and strategic they were will become clear in due course. The main concern will be how Chelsea will be able to pay for it all and spend again if necessary if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.