UEFA have made a big deal about their new Financial Fair Play rules, yet there appear to be a number of clubs that are making up their own interpretation of the rules in order to stay ahead of the rest. Many have been left bemused by the revolving door at Chelsea for their managers in recent years, but it is the miriad of expensive talent coming and going which causes most concern.
Chelsea made a loss of £49.4m for the year ended 30 June 2013, yet their spending on the 1st team squad in addition to backup players and future talent goes on without a sign of slowing down. In recent times, they have appeared to be stockpiling and cherry picking the best talent in world football, not to strengthen their team, but to inflict damage on their rivals.
Romelu Lukaku was signed for £17m and was promptly loaned to WBA then Everton, where he has damaged many of Chelsea’s close rivals and is now rumoured to be used as a bargaining chip to sign Edinson Cavani. To think that Mourinho would rather play the hopelessly out of sorts Fernando Torres in his own team speaks volumes about this policy. Thibaut Courtois, the top young keeper in world football signed for £5m and has twice been loaned to Atletico Madrid. Like Lukaku, it’s starting to appear that Chelsea may use him as a cheap bait to land Diego Costa, effectively saving them millions in transfer fees. Kevin De Bruyne signed for £7m, was loaned to Werder Bremen, then sold to Wolfsburg for £17m, making a more than handsome profit in just 18 months despite a handful of appearances in the blue shirt. Victor Moses was signed for a large fee and was loaned out to Liverpool with the assumption that they were not a direct rival, but like Lukaku could help earn points against the likes of United, City and Arsenal. The only people that fell for that were Liverpool’s transfer committee!!!
The remainder resemble a who’s who short list from Football Manager, all of these guys are loaned out:
Christian Atsu, Matej Delac, Thorgan Hazard, Wallace, Kenneth Omeruo, Nathaniel Chalobah, Bertrand Traore, Christian Cuevas, Ulises Davila, Milan Lalkovic, Jhon Pirez, Stipe Perica, Patrick Van Aanholt, Lucas Piazon, Ryan Bertrand, Marko Marin,
Josh McEachran, Oriol Romeu
amongst a couple of lesser known players.
Some of these guys might make the breakthrough, but Chelsea have done their best to keep these talents out of the hands of their rivals and in the case of the likes of De Bruyne, they’ve made a handsome profit. You could argue that the recent sale of Juan Mata highlights this part of their transfer policy as they have again benefitted from a huge profit which will no doubt be spent on another selection of prodigious talent. Chelsea’s transfer activities don’t break any rules, but there is no question that they are having a wide impact right across the football world and it could be considered a smart method to stay within the FFP rules.
Chelsea recently gazumped Liverpool by offering a reported £12m EXTRA for Egyptian Mohammed Salah and what’s the betting he ends up being loaned out next season!?! French wonderkid Kurt Zouma could be another player to join the Chelsea ranks, preventing other clubs the chance of developing him into a world class player. One player who faded away was Gael Kakuta, who Chelsea moved heaven and earth to sign and yet he proved to be an even bigger flop than Fernando Torres. I feel that many of the above players will go the same way.
Does this policy need looking into? I personally think loans between clubs in the same division should be banned as transfers should never be tactical. As for Chelsea’s relentless pursuit of the world’s top talents, they will continue to pinch players from their rivals at any cost even if it means stunting their growth and ultimately damaging their career, this in my opinion is also wrong.
UEFA, it’s over to you……..