Chelsea’s Bad Business Goes Unpunished

Chelsea’s Bad Business Goes Unpunished



Nemanja Matic appears close to rejoining Chelsea FC this week in a rich deal for around 25 million pounds. It’s a solid buy for Chelsea: Matic is the type of young, promising, two-way central midfield player the Blues haven’t purchased since Frank Lampard at the beginning of the century.

Of course, Chelsea had Matic three years ago. They used him as makeweight in the David Luiz deal. Luiz cost 26 million, and buying Matic back will cost 25 million or more, so that’s 51 million to Benfica for David Luiz, and a further 25 million for Matic.

This is a highway robbery for Benfica. They’ve profited so much from this whole exchange, it’s a surprise they haven’t built a statue of Michael Emenalo at the Estado de Luz.

Chelsea get their guys. They’re rich, and they always do in the end. But the team’s business sense is dreadful.

At various points since Jose Mourinho’s first reign as manager, Chelsea have had Arjen Robben, Matic, Glen Johnson, and Daniel Sturridge in their clutches, and sold them all off. For the moment, they pay Romalu Lukaku to play for a different team. Those guys all start today for Chelsea if they’re still at Stamford Bridge, and if they are, Mourinho’s team is the favorite to win the Premier League in May.

This churn and burn philosophy on SW6 has been in place and the managers have been churned and burned as well. We don’t need to go down this road again, but something suggests to me that Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil), and Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), may be pretty talented too.

So the question is, when will Chelsea learn? They’ve bought Matic twice. With Sturridge, Lukaku, or Robben, their striker problem is solved.


They purchased Raul Miereles for 12 million pounds, and sold by nine months later at a loss. This team spent good coin on Marko Marin, Marco Van Ginkel, Demba Ba and Victor Moses despite having no place to play these guys. They dished out 32 million to spite Andre Villas-Boas and buy Willian, who is little more than a luxury at Chelsea.

Around 20 million for Shaun Wright-Phillips and Yuri Zhirkov. Shall we go on? Chelsea must shudder at their collective waste over the Abramovich years. They snap up whoever they want without thinking, then jettison anyone who doesn’t pan out in the first year.

Marin? Loaned after one season. Van Ginkel? Headed down the same path. Sturridge was loaned, then sold after one season in the first team. Lukaku was loaned – twice – after a handful of games. Miereles at least got one full year. Ba got half a season. Moses the same.

Chelsea dump these guys with their eyes closed, then figure out what they’re missing. It must be nice to always be able to buy replacements, and buy the next new player, but wealth spoils judgement. You tend to hear more stories about those who have been millionaires going bankrupt than those who never ate with a silver spoon.

Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne is headed out the door. And chances are after a good World Cup and a few standout seasons in the Bundesliga, Chelsea are going to remember why the bought him in the first place.

Chelsea buys a ton of young talent, farms it out to their “academy”, which is all the other teams in the world, and if those academies turn their players into stars, then it’s often too late to get those players back. It may be hard to believe for some at Chelsea, but there are other reputable clubs in the world.


Since the start of the Premier League era, Chelsea have a net spending total in excess of 700,000 million pounds, and that total comes almost exclusively from the Abramovich years. Financial Fair Play, anyone?

If there was a salary cap in England – true Financial Fair Play – Chelsea would have to get a lot smarter, or sink to the bottom of the league. To use an analogy, Chelsea got a new car, they gave it away, and a few years later are buying back from the person they gave it to for huge money. But the game is rigged and this kind of business goes unpunished.

Michel Platini, for all his undeniable foibles took a shot at FFP and has gotten nowhere. And there’s about ten clubs in the world today who aren’t batting an eyelash at this news, and everyone else just threw their coffee cup the wall.

The arrogance that most people feel emanating Stamford Bridge is born from cash, not sense. So yes, you got Matic back. He’ll do well. But as the wise old American political operative James Carville once said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” So fix it, football.

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  1. Matic is cheap at the price. He has already brought in a modest part-exchange amount when he moved to Portugal. Since then, during his undoubted development there, he has cost Chelsea nothing in wages that would have been paid to him while he progressed at Stamford Bridge. Combined, that’s plenty of millions in total. Add those amounts to the huge profit about to be made on De Bruyne and Matic is virtually paid for. Only a fool would say that getting a top player for next-to-nothing is bad business.

    And if you doubt that the writer of the article is a fool, note that he tells us how daft it is that Van Genkel is not being picked, when the player tore his ACL months ago and is out for the whole season.

    Indeed, 95% of everything the twerp says in his article is tripe.

  2. Ok we get the point, but somebody fetch the smelling salts for thus guy. 700,000 million pounds, that’s 7 trillion you idiot. Plus if you think Robben is a striker and Willian a luxury, you need to start watching the game instead of talking about it my friend…

  3. It might make sense to some extent. But who are you going to blame. This buy is the epitome of failure. In addition to what your wrote, there are probably enough players loaned out that can be a top tier first team, the academy players have no chance whatsoever. However, at the end of the day, our team, CFC, has a great owner that is the envy of every fan of the sport, we LOVE him, hope God gives him good health, wealth, and long long long life. Thank you Roman, CFC will never forget you, what you have done, and will do in the future. May you prosper more and more and more.
    Blue’s Fan
    Long Live RA

  4. “Luiz cost 26 million, and buying Matic back will cost 25 million or more, so that’s 51 million to Benfica for David Luiz, and a further 25 million for Matic.”

    that is a really idiotic way of doing those maths. chelsea haven’t paid benfica for matic twice.

    also; It was 25m for luiz, or 21m plus matic (with matic valued at 4m). so, even if you do adhere to the way you are doing things, your maths are wrong. & this is all euros, not pounds. in pounds chelsea have bought 2 talented young players at a net spend of around £40/45m.

    it should also be pointed out, in terms of financial fair play as you raise it in your “article”; matic’s transfer fee is spread out over the length of his contract (roughly £5m a season) and chelsea are selling de bruyne to fund this deal anyway (making a very healthy profit in the process).

    “it’s the economy, stupid”. except it isn’t and you can’t do math anyway.

  5. What a load of rubbish. WAKE UP financial fair play has only become a reality this season, therefore your comments make no sense at all. Why are you banging on about robben he wanted to leave for real madrid, sturridge wanted to leave and was average for chelsea and de bruyne however promising is not prepared to fight for his place, see JMs comments about him. On the subject of Matic he is a player that was used by Ancelotti as a make weight for the Luiz deal. Your article is so bias it has holes all over it. How did citeh plug their debt? With a corrupt sponsorship deal. Real Madrid sold their training ground to Madrid city council…I dont think buying a player back deserves punishment and chelsea are and have to operate within Platinis FFP to preserve the status quo of the big teams so they can win
    everything eg barca real manure etc. Terrble, patronising and bias article

  6. more standard anti Chelsea hatred, slurs, offering rumour as fact pretending that chelsea are exceptional when in fact all BIG clubs have this problem– Man u for instance have lost players as well some of them now play for Cardiff or some like paul pogba have gone elsewhere into big leagues and there’s talk about buying them back — but of course this is really an effect of being a big club — Chelsea can’t afford to use inexperienced players who are learning on the job — neither can arsenal or united, thats why Ferguson brought back scholes and giigs and so on instead of bringing players through which is why Pogba left — but you won’t acknowledge this is true of everyone you are so full of anti chelsea hatred its all chelsea’s fault. grow up.

  7. These comments not all true must of come from a rottenham supporter
    As usual cracking on about ffp at least when we spend millions we have a
    Trophy cabinet creaking at the edges and don’t spend millions like
    Them and win fa
    Large hint of sour grapes if you ask me
    Welcome matic and many more super stars to our superior

  8. chelsea dont do bad business for god’s sake.matic was not even half the player he is today when we bought luiz and at the time it was he is a world class player and we want him loss or profit it doesn’t matter coz if he didn’t go to benfica he wud be nothing and luiz might not be a chelsea player

  9. Nice response to the writer of these funny article that is so biased in his write-up…. Let these writer check what man city has been spending so far and as well check the likes of PSG and Madrid

  10. This writer must be an ANTI CHELSEA who forgot it takes money to make money and risk to keep business going. Consider what we ve won in this era of spending and that hundred years of wilderness drought. Keep ur analysis to urself and pretend not to see what these players like LUIZ is doing for the team, which make clubs around the world begging for his signature. The time has come for chelsea to rule Europe & however they go about it is not ur business so stay ooooouuuuut. I love Blues CHEEEELSEEEEEA

  11. What the author Abe Usher forgot to mention is that Matic has been developed at Benfica and in that time frame David Luiz has help Cfc win the champions league, the Europa league and have given Cfc fan a few great goals to remember. To the business side Cfc have done a lot of great transactions lately. sturridge was sold for a profit so will the debrun sale be when finalized, Marin can still be sold for a profit so is Mata and Willian is looking like a steal lately rather than a luxury buy. It is impossible for top 5 European teams to develop young talent unless u are a super team like Buyern is or Barca was where one or two youngsters in the starting line up won’t affect results or u accept mediocracy for about three seasons. united lost pogba and want him back barca lost cesc and bought him back. It is the way at the top so stop singling out Cfc. Cfc are finally thinking about now and the future as long as they give Mourinho time and support.

  12. Another anti-Chelsea article with some bad fact checking .
    Let me add to Sir Cecil’s perfect response .
    Sturridge wanted to leave ,sadly he was injured a lot and lost his place in the starting 11 ,on top of that he was making unreasonable demands like refusing to play on the wing ,we offered him a new contract but he wanted the Liverpool move .
    Marin was bought when we thought we were going to miss out on the Champions League ,also very injury prone ,he just could not cut it in the PL .
    As to FFP we are well within range of meeting the FFP criteria ,its a shame the author is so blind with his hate for us that he does not rail against Financial dopers like City and PSG ,and lets not look at the finances of Barca and Real who may be in trouble for accepting bail outs from the Spanish Government ,Uniteds finances are not so great either .
    Considering our stadium only holds 42,000 we have managed our books really well

  13. So, Fabregas, Flamini, if you add Pogba to the mix, why do Chelsea get the level of abuse and others don’t??

  14. Where to start.Barca sold Fabregas for £2 million to Arsenal and bought him back some years later for £35 million.They also bought lbrahamovic for £67 million + Eto’o and sold him for £15 mill . Barca never get all this criticism but Chelsea is somehow the axis of evil for clowns like you.Lest l forget,Van Ginkel is out for the season with a knee injury

  15. Your article is biased and unscientific. Based on conspiracy theory as you’ve mentioned ‘the game is rigged’. That is not the case with the FA or Barclays Premier League. Its not like Serie A! And just last year Chelsea had announced a 1 million pound profit. This year they have incurred 49million pounds loss. But they’ll make about 12million profit from De Bruyne. So the loss is reduced to 37million. And now matic buy increases it to say 57mil. But shirt sales and trophy based income will cover it up. Torres, mata, hazard, oscar and lampard t-shirt sales (also william) have rocketed. So let the buisiness people do the buisiness and you keep shouting for vain in the internet!

  16. I am sure…the person who wrote the article is an arsenal fan….which explains why u fail 2 understand concepts like squad depth…nd investment…chelsea spend in order 2 strengthen nd maintain that position we have in world football…we do it well within FFP limits….go cry to some one else about cash…we are rich….sue us…XD

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