Living beyond their means, expert offers bleak forecast of Chelsea’s post-Roman Abramovich future
Roman Abramovich’s announcement that he intended to sell Chelsea Football Club was one both expected and unexpected.
Many thought that, in handing the reigns to the Chelsea Trust as he did ahead of the Carabao Cup final, he would be able to continue his influence from afar, something that has been a hallmark of his Chelsea regime.
Three days later, that illusion came crashing down, and Chelsea told their social media fanbase that the club was now officially for sale.
‘In the current situation, I have…taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners’. the Russian Oligarch told the fans in an open letter.
Statement from Roman Abramovich.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 2, 2022
Of course, the real reason behind the sale, Abramovich’s association by reputation with Vladimir Putin, and therefore his invasion of Ukraine, is thinly veiled.
It is unclear just how close the pair remain, and Abramovich’s sweeping claim that ‘I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated’ casts doubts on their relationship even if it has since emerged that it refers to victims of all wars, not specifically Ukrainians in Ukraine.
But what would a post-Roman Abramovich Chelsea look like?
Better recruitment needed
In short, Chelsea could look very different. Few will be able to financially back Chelsea in the way that Abramovich has, and no one is likely to write off the debts in the same way that the Russian announced he would be doing.
And according to the Athletic, it will need to be a major change. They claim that ‘One agent familiar to the club already has a rather grim forecast — the party is over as far as he’s concerned.’
So, will we see a more Liverpool-style when it comes to transfer dealings?
‘No one knows who will succeed Abramovich yet, but this influential representative believes the model of the club is about to change and it will need to become far more self-sustaining. Chelsea sell players on an annual basis anyway to help their accounts, however there is a suspicion they will have to cash in on some individuals who were previously not earmarked to go’, the source adds.
Worse still, it could cause a major headache upstairs, with several members of the club hierarchy potentially looking for the exit doors too.
‘Multiple sources in and outside the club fear key personnel including Granovskaia, Buck and Cech will all follow Abramovich out of Stamford Bridge’, claim the Athletic.
A glance at the Chelsea forward line tells you everything you need to know about how their future may change.
Their five forwards (excluding academy graduate Mason Mount) cost a combined 315 million pounds, but between them they have 18 Premier League goals, with Romelu Lukaku leading the group with a measly 5.
Chelsea will no longer be able to afford to write off the likes of Werner and Pulisic after one season and head back into the transfer market for replacements. They will need to recruit better to stand any chance of success in a post-Abramovich world.