Earn It On The Pitch Football Is For The Fans Chelsea FC – Cut Spending and Look to Youth

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Chelsea FC – Cut Spending and Look to Youth

Since Roman Abramovich became the new owner of Chelsea Football Club in 2003, he has been known as a big spender in the English Premier League.

More than £325 million was spent on players from 2004–2009, although £245 million was recouped on player sales during that period, and notably a profit on player sales (verse expenditure) in the 2009 season. Approximately £68 million.

Transfer fees are obviously only half the story, player wages are notoriously expensive, with Chelsea spending £142 million on player wages alone last year. This huge expenditure covers ticket sales, merchandise and replica shirt sales, advertising, television payments and indeed the prize money for winning the Premier League, estimated to be in the region of £15 million.

Chelsea are still in a strong financial position and are reportedly on target to ‘break even’ in the next few years.

Since Abramovich took over, the investment has paid dividends in terms of football and Chelsea have enjoyed a very successful era; They have won eight major trophies, including the Premier League 3 times, the FA Cup 3 times and the League Cup twice – making them the most successful English team in the last seven years.

Chelsea are not the only big spenders in the Premier League and there are growing concerns about the finances of some football clubs. In addition to the huge costs of some clubs, if a club is backed by a wealthy businessman or consortium, this financial power is also seen by some as an unfair advantage.

Another concern is that the influx of quality foreign players into the Premier League could adversely affect the national team as well as the clubs.

Football governing bodies have now taken action. From the start of the 2010/11 season the Premier League will introduce a squad cap of 25 players and a quota for ‘homegrown’ players. From this season, clubs must include eight homegrown players from the 25-man squad.

An Indigenous player is defined as having been registered with a club for at least three full seasons before the age of twenty-one.

Chelsea seem to be ahead of the game here, having moved to their new training ground in Cobham, Surrey in 2004 and opening their new multi-million pound state-of-the-art training ground in 2007, which includes all the latest in training, rehabilitation. , medical, pitch and media technology and is also home to youth teams and the Chelsea academy.

Cobham is home to the Under 9s to Under 18s, up to Chelsea’s first team. The academy is overseen by Chelsea sporting director Frank Arnesen who was appointed in 2005 and is renowned for his ability to develop young players.

Chelsea already have a number of academy players on their way into the first team. A long-term strategy is to develop talented young players instead of paying big bucks to older players from other teams, this will also ensure future financial stability.

Developing home-grown players is considered a key target for Chelsea. Cobham gives us the right platform for that, there is a general consensus that the new Premier League rules will benefit the long-term future of football.

Another problem for Chelsea is the huge player salaries, as clubs entering European competition in the 2012–13 season will have to prove they are financially stable and will only be allowed to spend on player transfers and pay what they earn. This is another factor that will drive the development of youth team players to reduce transfer costs to a great extent.

Before the start of this season, Chelsea have released several high profile players, who were reported to be among the highest earners at the club, the developments and wage structures over the next few years will be interesting to observe, I believe. Chelsea are ahead of the game and will continue to be a dominant presence in English, European and world football.

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