In the past they have been accused of ruining football and were perhaps one of the main reasons why UEFA Fair Play was first introduced. However having established themselves as one of the world’s best clubs, Chelsea are now leading the way in abiding by the new rules implemented by Michel Platini and co.
The days in which the Blues would seemingly ‘buy titles’ in wild spending sprees are now long gone. The club is now run like a business seeking profit and squad balance. Their policy has been to match every signing by selling a player in his position, usually for more money than the incoming man extraordinarily. In the summer out went David Luiz to PSG for £50m, Romelu Lukaku to Everton for £27m and Demba Ba to Besitkas for £15m. Coming to a total of £92m gained. In came Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis for a combined £79m. Out went 3 squad players, who were yet to impress at the club and in came 3 world class players who would improve the side drastically. Unbelievably they received a £13m profit for upgrading a trio of players.
Although nowadays they seem to be run highly professionally. No one joins without somebody else leaving first and the club is involving in quick, ruthless and highly profitable business. Last year the club reported an annual profit for the first time in owner Roman Abramovich’s reign at Chelsea. The induction of Fair Play has no doubt forced this change for the better and the West London side quickly worked out they would be one of the first to experience the full wrath of the new regulations. This after having spent huge sums of money to gain success in the first place.
Monday’s deadline acted as another example of Chelsea’s new policy. Out went Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg for a fee of up to £24m and in came replacement Juan Cuadrado shortly after for a fee believed to be in the region of £23m. The Colombian will most probably prove to be an upgrade on the World Cup winner and could have even come at another profit.
It would appear that everything has fallen perfectly into place for Chelsea. They were able to enjoy immediately strong investment after the arrival of Abramovich, without Fair Play a factor at the time. The Blues were allowed to become a formidable force in a way that any side in a similar position now may struggle to. They enjoyed success previously unparalleled in the club’s history and now having assembled a star studded squad, can use their advantage as a big player, to sell and buy players for large money. Their business strategy has worked superbly. Somehow they have been able to sell players and buy improved replacements whilst making a profit.
Times are changing at the Bridge and Jose Mourinho has already promised to give more opportunities to members of the academy. For all their critics, Chelsea are becoming a well run business. What’s more, unlike Arsenal, they are a well run club who are managing to improve their team, whilst gaining large success both on and off the pitch. Long gone are the days of reckless spending, Chelsea have been on of the first clubs to find a way to work within the UEFA fair play rules.