Chelsea’s recruitment drive in the last season-and-a-half has raised widespread eyebrows but one NBC pundit has claimed that the huge intake at Stamford Bridge was in anticipation of an impending transfer ban.
Since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital purchased the Blues for £4.25billion, there has been widespread change in both the transfer policy and the playing staff at Stamford Bridge.
They have exceeded the £1billion mark already, bringing in a number of young, if untested, players on long contracts to build a team that can dominant in the future.
Things have not quite gone to plan so far, with Mauricio Pochettino the fourth managerial appointment in that time – as well as Bruno Saltor’s caretaker stint – as Boehly and Co endure a tough start to their tenure in the Premier League.
However, former Middlesbrough star turned NBC pundit Robin Mustoe claims that the drive to sign a huge number of players has come in order to offset a predicted future transfer ban, and not leave the club short-staffed should one be imposed.
Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital have spent north of £1billion on transfers since taking over
The Blues have made 26 permanent signings in the last four transfer windows since summer 2022
Robin Mustoe told The Byline that Chelsea’s transfer business was in anticipation of an impending transfer ban
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‘I wouldn’t have spent (I have the reason why they did it) all that money so quickly, when you haven’t got the professionals in charge,’ Mustoe told The Byline.
‘But my understanding is and its from a very very good source that the financial problems that was left with the club, that the new ownership had to go through all the books and by the way they are pretty thorough with all this stuff and there was so many dodgy looking things in the accounts the club thought that they were going to get done.
‘Which they have been done, they had been done by the way, they’ve been fined.
‘The club were worried that they were going to get another transfer ban and to jump ahead of that potential transfer ban when they said the accounts are here and we admit there’s some problems here and some dodgy agents or whatever it is.
‘They thought they had to stack up on players.’
The club are under investigation from the Premier League, and if found guilty could face a big points deduction.
The new owners reported to the Premier League, FA and UEFA that former owner Roman Abramovich had paid millions to offshore companies, it was revealed in August.
There was a concern that the payments are in relation to transfers and were not included in the club’s annual reporting under financial regulations.
Payments made by Chelsea when they signed Denmark defender Andreas Christensen, from Brondby in 2012 are expected to form part of the investigation.
Argentina star Enzo Fernandez was signed a year ago for a then-record £107m from Benfica
Moises Caicedo then broke Fernandez’s record by signing for £115m from Brighton last summer
In addition to the obvious financial ramifications of signing so many players, the Blues have spent themselves into a number of issues.
Mail Sport revealed earlier this month that the Blues were worried about Financial Fair Play implications if they decided to axe Pochettino for £10m amid a poor start to his own tenure at the club.
Last January, having purchased Mykhailo Mudryk, Malo Gusto, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Enzo Fernandez and Noni Madueke, then-boss Potter was only able to register three players for the Champions League.
Having also signed Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid, Madueke, Datro Fofana and Badiashile were all duly left out, with Jorginho vacating to Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not included.