As Roman Abramovich gets back to what he does best and bankrolls the BIGGEST transfer window spree of ALL TIME – despite coronavirus crippling football and FFP still in place – here’s how he can splash £231m on new faces
- Chelsea have spent around £231million during this current transfer window
- The Blues have brought in Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell so far
- Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr have also joined while Kai Havertz is on the way
- How has Roman Abramovich paid for this during the coronavirus crisis?
The west Londoners have broken the bank this summer, with their spending coming in at around £231million – more than any other English top-flight team in a single window – once Kai Havertz becomes the latest addition. And there could be even more new arrivals.
From a distance, the timing of this free-spending spree by Frank Lampard‘s Blues may appear rather peculiar – as the coronavirus pandemic means that the majority of clubs are strapped for cash, with transfer activity expected to be relatively small this year.
So, with the help of football business account SwissRamble, Sportsmail takes a look at how Chelsea have managed to stump up all this cash…
Sportsmail looks at how Frank Lampard and Roman Abramovich have spent big in the window
SMART PLAYER SALES
One area where Chelsea have helped themselves over the past six years is through generating money from player sales.
There is no hiding the fact that the Blues have spent big over the years. In fact, the west Londoners have spent about as much money (£890m) on players as Manchester City (£892m) and more than Man United have (£870m) in the past six years.
But Chelsea have sold well. In that same period, the Blues have made around £450m from shipping some of their stars out.
The sale of players such as Eden Hazard to Real Madrid has helped Chelsea’s finances
Winger Eden Hazard is the biggest sale they have managed to make in that time, as Real Madrid snapped him up for around £100million last summer. That fee could eventually hit £150m with add-ons.
Other high-fee departures such as Alvaro Morata , Thibaut Courtois , Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and Oscar have allowed the Blues more freedom to operate in the transfer market.
Chelsea were also affected by their transfer ban, which only allowed them to sign loanee Mateo Kovacic for £40m last summer.
The Blues not only managed to generate even more money by selling Hazard, but they also made several smaller sales which raised even more cash. Look no further than David Luiz to Arsenal (he had previously been sold to PSG for big money then brought back), Mario Pasalic to Atalanta and Ola Aina to Torino.
It means that, while the Blues are up there with the two Manchester clubs in terms of overall spend, Chelsea sit well behind the pair in terms of net spend over the last six years.
Meanwhile, Chelsea also raise money when letting players leave on free transfers. Recent high-wage exits include Gary Cahill, Willian and Pedro – who were all on massive money at Stamford Bridge.
But even though the Blues gained no transfer fee for the players, it makes other free signings that command high wages, such as Thiago Silva, much easier to justify.
Do not be surprised if they end up selling even more players this summer. The Blues are reportedly keen to let Michy Batshuayi, Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley, Emerson Palmieri and Tiemoune Bakayoko leave.
The Blues have also let go several high-earners such as David Luiz (left) and Gary Cahill (right)
Champions League football helps. Obviously playing in Europe’s premier club competition attracts a higher calibre of player, but the prize money is a completely different ball game too.
In the 2018-19 season, Maurizio Sarri led Chelsea to the Europa League glory after a 4-1 win over Arsenal in the Baku final. The prize money for winning the competition stood at £18.3m, according to SwissRamble, while the total European earnings from TV money and participation fees generated £41m.
Chelsea earning Champions League football on the final day of the season will help finances
THE WINDOW SO FAR
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – £53million
Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) – £50million
Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) – £38million
Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain) – Free
Malang Sarr (Nice) – Free
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) – £90million (incoming)
CHELSEA’S BIG PLAYER SALES 2014-2020
Eden Hazard – £100m (up to £150m)
Diego Costa – £60m
Oscar – £54m
Alvaro Morata – £50m
Nemanja Matic _ £40m
Thibaut Courtois – £30m
David Luiz – £50m
But in the Champions League last term, Chelsea earned £20m for reaching the last-16 stage – where they were knocked out by Bayern Munich – while the additional TV money and other areas of economic gain meant they earned £72m from European competition alone.
With Chelsea securing a top-four finish last season, meaning they are eligible for this hefty source of prize money once again, it means the Blues can justify spending all the money on Werner, Ziyech and the other players as they will fancy their chances of reaching the Champions League knockouts once again.
Clubs get more for playing the Champions League last-16 than for winning the Europa League
CORONAVIRUS HELPS FFP BATTLE
Clubs must limit their financial spending is due to Financial Fair Play (FFP), which UEFA use to make sure the mega-rich do not gain too much of an advantage in the transfer market.
Under FFP rules, teams must make a no more than a £27million loss over the course of three years. Each club must take part in the checks, with the next ones scheduled for 2021.
But this year, European football’s governing body will ‘neutralise the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by allowing clubs to adjust the break-even calculation for revenue shortfalls reported in 2020 and 2021.’
The easing of UEFA’s FFP rules due to the coronavirus rules will help Chelsea to spend money
What this means, is that when UEFA check on club’s finances in 2021, they will only take down financial results from 2018 and 2019 – but not 2020 which has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
If teams end up making a financial loss over this period, which most teams tend to do, then that figure will be halved by UEFA as they are going easy on clubs due to the global financial uncertainty at the moment.
Up and to the end of the 2018-19 season, Chelsea’s finances met UEFA’s FFP rules.
Yet even with this significant transfer spree this summer, SwissRamble predicts the Blues to suffer just a £5m loss by the end of 2022 due to the Covid-affected regulations.
THE BANK OF ROMAN
Of course, there can’t be a story about Chelsea spending millions in the transfer market without mentioning Russian owner Abramovich.
The oligarch has continued his strong investment in the west London club which began in June 2003.
Owner Roman Abramovich has waved his magic money wand to give Chelsea firepower
Overall, Abramovich has invested a whopping £1.3billion since 2004, but between 2015 and 2018 he never put more than £50m a year into the Stamford Bridge accounts.
That changed in 2019, when he pumped in £247m – sacking Antonio Conte was costly. In the year where Chelsea raised nearly £200m in player sales, there is little surprise that the Blues have a lot of room to manoeuvre in the current market.