More Arsenal purchases this summer, and how Chelsea are getting such high transfer fees

By Tony Attwood

So what are the children chattering about today?

Well, the Telegraph, having run the story a day or two back that the Arsenal board were fed up with Mr Wenger have now dropped that one and instead gone with the fact that the transfer budget for this summer will be £50 million.   The money to be spent on a central midfielder, with also a centre back and possibly a goalkeeper.

The story is obviously one set up so the paper can win both ways.  If Mr Wenger doesn’t spend that much money they can run the incompetence stories, if he does they can say “as we predicted”.

They are also running tales of the cash reserves – which they put down as £138.8m so there is another story set up, without actually looking at the requirements Arsenal have to keep money in the bank as part of the security on the loans and bond deals set up in 2006 and the fact that the recent transfers probably have to be paid over time (as is the norm).

So the talk is again of Schneiderlin coming in with Flamini and Diaby leaving – Diaby tragically because of the enormous talent he had, wrecked by a maniac whose punishment was to miss three games.  There’s obviously no concern over FFP regulations from Europe at Arsenal, since Arsenal easily quality as they make a profit, and the Premier League FFP seems to have died a death – it looks like the arguments of the high spending clubs have won, allowing them free reign.

This incidentally leaves the Premier League as the only top English league without FFP – Championship, League One and League Two all operate them, but the PL won’t even support the Championship gather in fines.   I wonder why.  Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the murky tales below…

The predictions made here turned out to be right about Liverpool.  Liverpool did argue successfully that money spent by the club’s previous owners (the ones before Royal Bank of Scotland took it over) on “building a new stadium” could be knocked off the FFP calculations, even though not a single tuft of earth was dug.  It has opened up a gap in FFP which others will exploit – although the ploy can only be used once per club.

But Liverpool’s new spending on their ground renovations will again count for FFP so they get the ground fees exemption twice.

Speaking of FFP I am really starting to wonder what Chelsea are playing at with their player sales – which is what is keeping them above the FFP watermark – and a strange loan policy that they have.

Chelsea sold Thorgan Hazard (brother of Eden) to Borussia Monchengladbach for €8m – a staggering profit of 1500% on the amount they paid for him two and a half years back which is not only nice for their bank balance but also again helps them enormously get the right side of FFP.

It  is good and clever dealing, except the eyebrows start rising when we see that Hazard-the-lesser spent just a month at Chelsea, played just once for the under 21s and never for the first team.

Of course one offs do happen, and that could be fully legit, but we also have also seen Juan Mata signed by Chelsea £23.5m and sold to Manchester U for £37.1m.  Quite a good deal there too.

And yes they might be brilliant buyers and sellers – one can’t say – except that when they get another such deal going, one gets just a trifle suspicious.  For there is Romelu Lukaku who was bought for £18m, and moved on to Everton for £28m after I think ten games.

And that’s not the end.  Most notoriously of all David Luiz was signed for £21m then sold to PSG last summer in a deal that had everyone scratching heads: £50m (although some sources quote only £40m).

And that is still not all.  Kevin De Bruyne cost £6.7m, played in the league three times and went after two years for £18m to Wolfsburg. Andre Schurrle cost £18m, also went to Wolfsburg – this costing the club £22m.  Now Wolfsburg are throwing money at everything that moves, but even so…

OK I have a suspicious mind when it comes to Chelsea, but…  I can believe one or two of these deals – and Arsenal have done such deals in the past, not least Nic Anelka who cost £250,000 and went to Real Mad three years later for £25m.
Yet this many transfers with this few games played in some cases and this much profit – which helps Chelsea clear the FFP hurdle.
And then there are Chelsea’s loan deals.  Thirty of them at least (I may have missed some).  Here’s the list the children at the Daily Mail provided (they can be quite helpful at times when they are behaving).
  • 1. Tomas Kalas – Cologne (season-long)
  • 2. Wallace – Vitesse (season-long)
  • 3. Cristian Cuevas – CU de Chile (season-long with a view to a permanent) 
  • 4. Thorgan Hazard – Borussia Monchengladbach (season-long)
  • 5. Bertrand Traore – Vitesse (season-long)
  • 6. Mario Pasalic – Elche (season-long)
  • 7. Lucas Piazon – Eintracht Frankfurt (season-long)
  • 8. Ryan Bertrand – Southampton (season-long)
  • 9. Gael Kakuta – Rayo Vallecano (season-long)
  • 10. John Swift – Rotherham + Swindon (Robins season-long)
  • 11. Oriol Romeu – Stuttgart (season-long)
  • 12. Joao Rodriguez – Bastia (season-long)
  • 13. Kenneth Omeruo – Middlesbrough (season-long)
  • 14. Christian Atsu – Everton (season-long)
  • 15. Stipe Perica – NAC Breda (season-long with a view to a permanent)
  • 16. Victor Moses – Stoke (season-long)
  • 17. Josh McEachran – Vitesse (season-long)
  • 18. Marko Marin – Fiorentina (season-long)
  • 19. Patrick Bamford – Middlesbrough (extended to season-long on Jan 1)
  • 20. Fernando Torres – AC Milan (loan – sold)
  • 21. Marco van Ginkel – AC Milan (season-long)
  • 22. Nathaniel Chalobah – Burnley (six months)
  • 23. Islam Feruz- OFI Crete (season-long, recalled)
  • 24. Matej Delac – Arles Avignon (unspecified)
  • 25. Ulises Davila – Tenerife (unspecified)
  • 26. Jamal Blackman – Middlesbrough?
  • 27. Todd Kane – Bristol City + Forest (Forest from Jan 8)
  • 28. Alex Davey – Scunthorpe (season-long)
  • 29. Alex Kiwomya – Barnsley (end of season from Jan 6)
  • 30. Lewis Baker – Sheffield Wednesday (youth loan )

Now to be fair the Chelsea web site today only has 26 such players listed but even so, 26?  What is going on?

Is this the new way around FFP, in which money spent on youth players doesn’t count, and money gained from transfers knocks down your overall costs?  Is this a complete redirection of the whole process of an academy in which you just take on more and more players and loan them to anyone in the hope that one turns up trumps?
If you have an insight into quite how Chelsea are getting all these transfer fees, and why Chelsea have so many players out on loan, do let us all know.
I can’t possibly suggest that Chelsea are slipping under the counter money to other clubs to persuade them to take bump up the prices and are also offering loan deals at very ver favourable terms in which Chelsea keep paying the players’ wages (thus reducing FFP liability).  Of course I can’t because I don’t have a shred of evidence.  But if I were a crook it is what I would do.
Anniversary of the Day: not every match of a triumphant season is easy viewing…
28 February 2004: Arsenal went two up in four minutes but then hung on to win 2-1 making it five wins out of five.   The 27th league game of the third unbeaten season.

87 Replies to “More Arsenal purchases this summer, and how Chelsea are getting such high transfer fees”

  1. Now I dislike chelsea as much if not more than any non- chelsea supporting level headed person but this article reads nothing more than an ill judged and jealous rant. Your suspicions not only illustrate your belief that chelsea are cheating both FFP and more seriously and criminally HMR, but you are also implicating France, Germany and other countries, and suggesting Manchester United and Everton could be
    complicit. Whats laughable is that Schurlle is a world cup winner, de Bruyne a class act and full international, cost similar fees to Callum Chambers

    Regarding the loans, its so obvious that chelsea are identifying the best young talent worldwide and hoping the will develop into top senior players by allowing them to
    develop at other clubs in their first teams- something we have been doing for years on a lesser scale.

    Chelsea are showing ambition by moving on players who do not fit or are not considered good enough, or trying to get the best talent to their club, instead of practicing blind loyalty to current players as advocated by this writer rather than showing ambition and striving for improvement.

  2. Correct Chelsea’s behaviour is extremely suspicious. Making something dirty clean?
    As for FFP, it is all a sham, I believe we as a club are right to be self sustaining, despite the obvious cost and unpopularity it brings with those less clean, the media and the aaa, but I have always thought the club….and manager placing too much emphasis on something as clearly flawed as FFP was a mistake, I am glad Ivan stopped it. We didn’t spend because the club were being responsible, citing FFP always smacked of an excuse, one which armed our many critics.

  3. We tend to forget, that for every rule made, there will be an anti-rule found. This is the nature of things to prevent stagnation and further growth.

    Bending the rules is very much allowed, and Clubs who do not do so are putting themselves at a disadvantage.

    Finding new ways of bending the rules helps to set the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not i suppose.

    Still it is always frustrating to see someone bending the rules “better” than oneself do we all agree? 🙂

  4. There is an element of money laundering in all this. Players bought with money now defined under FFP as ‘dirty’ being sold for revenues now defined as ‘clean’.
    The fact that so many players are involved does underline how inefficient the transfer market is (i.e. it requires hedge betting on a grand scale).
    It also relies on there being enough clubs out there willing and able to buy from you. Might there be some way of helping or incentivising such buyers that perhaps only comes to light in the long distant future?

  5. I don’t have much evidence but my 25 years of business experience tells me Chelsea and ManC are cooking their books for FFP. And it’s easier than you think.

    Rich people have many companies, and a few shell companies. They make many intra-company deals which are beneficial to a company in need on any occasions. To know more about how this works, look at the dealings of South Korean Chaebols before they crashed in late 90’s (Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Daewoo were all doing it).

    In Chelsea’s case, I have no evidence, but it looks obvious that Chelsea are selling players at an inflated rate. One of their sister companies will then make up the difference (between the real price and the official price) by side deals. Perhaps you can see one of Abromovich’s companies sponsoring PSG, or…
    Another option is that Chelsea will buy a player from PSG at an inflated price to make up for it (and the extra amount will be accounted for in later years).

    ManC is doing it so obvious that you don’t require evidence. Etihad Airlines is owned by the owner (Abu Dhabi), and is sponsoring the shirts and stadium at unbelievably high fees. Then you have a few Abu Dhabi owned or partly owned companies (like Abaar, Arabtec) who have no business advertising in England (in fact, both these companies have not much advertising anywhere outside of ManC!).

    Is ManC shirt & stadium worth 400 Million Pounds to Etihad? I think not!

  6. Wenger, like all of us is characterised by his experiences in life, seems to me that his experiences at the time of the Marseilles scandal mean he will never go near bending any rules….that is to his credit, though I sometimes wish he would use a few of the darker arts, not doing so certainly makes his job more difficult in today’s climate. But ultimately, as Usmanov said, wenger is guided by principles, not the win at all cost mentality of some of his peers. Also wonder if the experiences of Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey prevent him playing the proverbial beast in defence or MF? Just speculation of course.

  7. So, none of you actually have any proof, but imagine that it is happening. There is an element of libel in a few of the posts that would be actionable in court as you are claiming criminal acts in a public forum against named people.

    Of course this is nothing to do with Chelsea having a great business side to them, seeing good young raw talent, trying to get them better and then selling them off if they do not fit? And while PSG are throwing money around like crazy, before the world cup Luiz was seen as a great player – after, hmm, maybe not worth €40m.

    Please support your own club before casting stones at others

  8. ThomB, every one has an a write to make assumptions as long as its stated clearly that the are assumptions without evidence the way Tony did.

    I also think there was something fishy about David Luiz sale. For a player of his caliber and playing position to cost that much smells fishy to me. However I cannot question the prices commanded by Hazard, Mata or Kevin De Bruyne as I think they are worth that much under such circumstances.

    However I wonder if the 26/30 players on loan is the way to go. If so, then there is no need to nurture young talents at the academy. Just buy the best growing talents, keep them with their parent clubs or send then on loan. If they become world class, bring them to the club. If not sell them. Also don’t forget to close the academies as they will become useless.

    I read on that Sturridge is the last Academy player from Man City to blossom, yet City just built a Multi-million dollar academy to produce young stars. What a shame when they can actually go the root of Chelsea.

    Whatever the reason, there is still pride in raising a star from an academy to eventually become a part of the senior team and become a star. Its something Arsenal, Southhamton and co should be proud of.

  9. ThomB, every one has a right to make assumptions as long as it is stated clearly that the are assumptions without evidence the way Tony did.

    I also think there was something fishy about David Luiz’s sale. For a player of his caliber and playing position to cost that much smells fishy to me. However I cannot question the prices commanded by Hazard, Mata or Kevin De Bruyne as I think they are worth that much under such circumstances.

    However I wonder if the 26/30 players on loan is the way to go. If so, then there is no need to nurture young talents at the academy. Just buy the best growing talents, keep them with their parent clubs or send them on loan. If they become world class, bring them to the club. If not sell them. Also don’t forget to close the academies as they will become useless.

    I read on that Sturridge is the last Academy player from Man City to blossom, yet City just built a Multi-million dollar academy to produce young stars. What a shame when they can actually go the route of Chelsea.

    Whatever the reason, there is still pride in raising a star from an academy to eventually become a part of the senior team and then a star. Its something Arsenal, Southamton and co should be proud of.

  10. The other point I forgot to mention in regards to youth at Chelsea and loan players (which is generating great business as Nonny states) Chelsea’s actually academy has now produced the 3 of the last 4 youth league winners, youth FA cup winners, under 19 and under 21 league winners – so they must be doing something right. If the youth does not make it a Chelsea then they will get a chance at another club to succeed – and Chelsea make a profit on the sale, but not on the training.

    I also believe that Mourinho has his own style he wants his players to play – those that do not are very quickly shown the door, Mata and KDB are 2 examples mentioned above

  11. What do you all make of Chelsea’s new sponsorship deal with YOKOHAMA for 40 Mil GBP per year?

  12. Sammy – seems very good business. They need extra coverage in EMEA and the Chelsea brand is becoming very big in the Far East and Asia – a win win for both parties

  13. “Arsenal stuck with Wenger”
    Latest medai attack meme. So cunning. So original. So inaccurate.

    Which is progress from:

    “Vengargggghhh has lost it” last season


    “Vengarrrggghhhh won’t spend any money the tight fisted Vichy snorting Frenchie chhese eating surrender mmoney (he is in fact Alsation) that he is, won’t do tactics…I’m a m idiot btw and I’ll repeat any old gibberish if you just publish it” memes from the season before.

    These self-declared Experts in PR. They really know how to surprise us!
    How do you all think there efforts at a hostile corporate takeover of some quite valuble real estate in London as currency around the world tumbles is going?

  14. The amount of players on loan from Chelsea is unbelievable.therez 2 full teams worth of players there.

  15. The usual trend for any player on the fringes of the first team looking to get more game time elsewhere will usually be sold for less than what was paid for him initially. This would certainly be the case for the likes of lukaku, Schurlle, hazard, de buyrne, etc. This is what happened when Gervinho moved on, and should we lose a player or two too this summer and they were not first choice starters then I would expect the club to get less, or at best to break even, on the transfer fee. David Luiz’s transfer just left everyone gobsmacked. Chelsea are cooking their books, simples

  16. So I say in an article

    I don’t have a shred of evidence.

    and then am accused of writing an article about a subject on which I don’t have a shred of evidence.

    I am not sure I belong in this world any more.

  17. It is impossible to get evidence on these things unless there is a brave whistle blower. Everything is shrouded in the impenetrable cloak of ‘commercial confidentiality’.

    I heard this morning it was only as a result of leaked evidence from a whistle blower that HSBC was exposed as colluding in huge tax avoidance. Robbing the people of many countries of the money to build homes, schools, hospitals … Even then it took years for the evidence to be made public.

    In these circumstances we can only do what Tony has done – present the available evidence and be very suspicious.

  18. Some have suggested that the sums of money Chelsea received for some of their players is exagerated so as to get around ffp, but so far it’s just speculation.

    There’s a very interesting article on Chelsea &, in particularly, Mourinho over at the Secret Footballer blog regarding his employment of mindgames, claiming he’s trying to emulate former United boss Fergguson. Quoting comments from former United midfielder Paul Scholes:

    “There is no doubt that my former manager Sir Alex [Ferguson] exerted an influence over some referees. He was the master of dropping a comment into his Friday press conference – for instance, how long it had been since we had been given a penalty or the treatment meted out to a player like Cristiano Ronaldo. It was always calculated and delivered calmly.”

  19. At no point did I accuse you of anything except for your article reading and sounding nothing more than an ill judged and jealous rant. I stick by that

    Further, how many replies to posters here have you made in recent days demanding evidence or facts to back up their claims?

  20. But well done mr advertising exec for failing to address any of the issues I raised and sidestepping the issues by countering with a false allegation about an allegation that was never made. To counter your last comnent, i believe you actually fully belong in this world

  21. ‘An ill judged and jealous rant’.

    ThomB, is that really what Tony’s article is? Or is that what you choose to say it is to try to belittle it?

    To me it reads like a sober presentation of certain pieces of information from which certain conclusions might be drawn. We all know some of the rich clubs are desperate to get round FFP, so why should it be so unacceptable to say so?

  22. And by the way, jealous? I’m not jealous of Manchester City and Chelsea at all and I don’t believe Tony is.

    I’d much rather be an Arsenal fan with a manager who does not stoop to playing petty mind games and a board that is not in any danger of breaking FFP.

    I would just like there to be a more level playing field.

  23. Over a year ago I posted on here that those that were doing a dance of joy thinking that FFP would turn out as the hoped were going to be sadly let down
    So many on here want clubs to self sustaining yet when Chelsea became just that the herd still cries foul
    There is nothing to support the theories of wrong doing and whilst Tony has clearly chosen his language very carefully there seems to me a clear implication in what is being said
    The numbers clearly show that Chelsea have extracted some huge fees but what were they meant to say toPSG ? Every player has their price and if a club is crazy enough to offer the sort money that it seems they paid for Luiz what were Chelsea meant to do ? My guess is that RM faced the same dilemma with regard to Ozil and certainly Southampton did when someone offered such a huge fee for what was a reserve defender.
    many suggest that there really should be a debate within football about loan players but despite all the mumblings there clearly is no appetite to have such a discussion
    The list of players Chelsea have out on loan is way out of date

  24. Pat

    What i read here pure speculation that implies a particular club is involved in cheating as well as illegal and criminal activity. But it really only demonstates that the is club showing ambition by speculating in a dynamic industry

  25. I don’t really get the confusion over Chelsea’s success selling players. They signed a bunch of kids most haven’t ever heard of, and signed them before they break out. After the kids then increase their value on loan, Chelsea sell them if they don’t plan on including them in their first team.

    This isn’t something Wenger and Arsenal couldn’t do just as easily if they wanted. At some point, guys like Walcott, Wilshere, and Gibbs (just to name a few of many) were all unproven youngsters that would have been worth a huge transfer figure. If Wenger had wanted to, he could have easily cashed in on that group rather than using them, and given himself a ton of cash to spend. Who he could have bought is another matter entirely, but is it really hard to picture that trio netting 75 million or more if sold at the right time?

  26. I’m afraid there really has been some nonsense written here.

    Why has the original article highlighted the number of games played for Chelsea whilst ignored the fact that Lukaku and De Bruyne had quite clearly enhanced their reputations through loan spells after signing for Chelsea? De Bruyne is now being linked with 30 million + moves so the fee Chelsea got is hardly dodgy dealing is it?

    Also is anyone really questioning the fee for Mata? Player of the year twice in a row at Chelsea and the Mancs were absolutely desperate for a big signing in that transfer window. You can see why one poster up above compared our sales to the Gervinho one you lot made lol.

    The only fee where eyebrows could be raised is the Luiz one. Having said that he had formed an excellent partnership with Thiago Silva at international level so you can possibly see why PSG were willing to chuck so much at it to pair them at club level. The other thing that needs to be taken into account is that all of these players were on long term contracts at Chelsea and most are in their early 20’s so there is big potential resale value there.

    Unfortunately and some of the following comments are strongly influenced by jealousy. How much more of a “level playing field” does Pat want for example? Chelsea not being able to sell players at all? It’s quite laughable stuff it really is.

  27. I’ve read a lot of articles at the Untold lately including the very first ones. One of them praises the Arsenal way including having a team of players on loan elsewhere. It would have been more interesting if UA had asked why Fabregas, a world-class midfielder, was sold to Barcelona for a reported fee that is smaller than the one Chavs had paid for Hazard. How could we let one of the best midfielders in the world back then at the age of 24 for an amount of money that was far below the price Fabregas should have commanded?

  28. Yes, Finsbury, they have varied their attack. Another common theme at the moment is a summer exodus of our top players, balague is stating that Arsenal has become a graveyard for top players…..whatever does it for him I guess.

  29. @ para – February 28, 2015 at 11:56 am – Thank you so much for that .Just spent the last hour reliving that glorious season. Time well spent !

  30. When there is one strange transaction and a club selling at a very inflated price, it may well be just that – a one off favorable transaction. Two such transactions – could be coincidental. But when there are a series of such transactions it usually suggests a someone is following an agenda which those in authority would do well to investigate, lets hope they do so.

    It is interesting that Chelski has gone down this route. Having spent vast sums in building up their thug team, they then supported FFP in an effort to prevent others from following their example. Having seen other teams, one esp, try to circumvent FFP, are they now trying to go one better?

  31. Doing the math – the sum of all things and by my figures it all adds up ! QED .

    Husband leaves shocking letter for his wife. Then she responds.

    A husband wrote the following letter for his wife and left it on the dining room table:

    “To My Dear Wife, You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, being 54 years old, can no longer satisfy. I am very happy with you and I value you as a good wife.
    Therefore, after reading this letter, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel.
    Please don’t be upset -I shall be home before midnight.”

    When the man came home late that night, he found the following letter on the dining room table:

    “My Dear Husband, I received your letter and thank you for your honesty about my being 54 years old. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. As you know, I am a math teacher at our local college. I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Hotel Fiesta with Michael, one of my students, who is also the assistant tennis Coach. He is young, virile and like your secretary, is 18 years old.
    As a successful businessman who has an excellent knowledge of math, you will understand that we are in the same situation, although with one small difference:

    – 18 goes into 54 a lot more times than 54 goes into 18.

    Therefore, I will not be home until sometime tomorrow.”

  32. Son : Mom , I am not feeling sleepy … Can you tell me a story ?

    Mother : Dear , I too am not sleepy . Your father has not yet come home . When he comes back , we’ll ask him why he’s late.. Then see how many stories he tells !

  33. Some of these stories brings back memories and gets me all teary …..

    A newlywed couple had only been married for two weeks. The husband, although very much in love, couldn’t wait to go out on the town and party with his old buddies ..

    So, he said to his new wife, ‘Honey, I’ll be right back.’

    ‘Where are you going, honey bunch?’ asked the wife.

    ‘I’m going to the bar, pretty face. I’m going to have a beer.’

    The wife said, ‘You want a beer, my love?’

    She went and opened the door to the refrigerator and showed him 25 different kinds of beer brands from 12 different countries: Germany , Holland, Japan, India , etc.

    The husband didn’t know what to do, and the only thing that he could think of saying was, ‘Yes, lolly pop…but at the bar…you know…they have frozen glasses…’

    He didn’t get to finish the sentence, because the wife interrupted him by saying, ‘You want a frozen glass, puppy face?’

    She took a huge beer mug out of the freezer, so frozen that she was getting chills just holding it.

    The husband, looking a bit pale, said, ‘Yes, tootsie roll, but at the Bar they have those hors d’oeuvres that are really delicious… I won’t be long, I’ll be right back. I promise. OK?’

    You want hors d’oeuvres, poochi pooh?’ She opened the oven and took out 5 dishes of different hors d’oeuvres: chicken wings, pigs in blankets, mushroom caps, pork strips, etc.

    ‘But my sweet honey… At the bar… You know…there’s swearing, dirty words and all that…’

    ‘You want dirty words, Dickhead? Drink your f***ing beer in your Goddamn frozen mug and eat your motherf***ing snacks, because you are Married now, and you aren’t f***ing going anywhere! Got it, A**hole?’

    So he stayed home………… , …….and, they lived happily ever after.

    Now, isn’t that a sweet story?

  34. Mike T

    What is your opinion of ‘Big Business’ ‘Banking’ ‘Government’ ?

    Do you think all these ‘big money’ institutions are whiter than white and do everything all legal and above board?

    No I didn’t think so, but for some strange reason you seem to of convinced yourself that, despite the billions at stake Chelsea, they do everything above board.

    In my experiences of the life one rule always holds, the richer the person the more corrupt he is.

    Proof or not, if you think everything Chelsea are doing is all legal and above board then you really are living in a different world to the corrupt one that I inhabit.

  35. There are three points made to date on which I would wish to expand.

    Firstly I very rarely agree with Sammy the Snake but it seems to me quite simple to rig transfer fees as he says. If a player’s valuation is £30 million and you want to buy but cannot afford this under FFP just walk through the door offering £18 million together with commercial contracts from companies owned by your clubs owner of £12 million and the circle is legally squared under FFP. Similarly if you are selling then the same side-contracts of £12 million enable the asking demand of £30 million to be met by the purchasing club at a net cost to them of just £18 million assuming this is their valuation of the player. We may need to look very closely at increasing commercial income from external companies owned by football club owners where dodgy looking transfer fees have occurred.

    Secondly Mike T has always declared his allegiance and normally given cogent and well argued cases. In this instant all he has to do is provide the list of amendments needed to Tony’s list and why.

    Finally the Fabregas case is not as simple as Josif makes it out to be. Fabregas strongly wanted away I have even seen suggested on blogs to the point of being ready to refuse to play for Arsenal. Whether this was true or not Arsenal and Arsene have never stopped a player going when they really wanted to. Further the contract for sale is said to have included a repurchase option or receive money on resale clause which has been quoted as earning Arsenal more than £10 million from the money Chelsea paid to sign Fabregas. All of which make the valuation at two different points of time far more difficult to accurately assess.

  36. @Vintage Gooner,

    I have to admit I haven’t found a single report about 10 million quid for Cesc “The Four Feathers” Fabregas’ sale to Chelsea. I think that 5 million quid was the amount mentioned but then again, you never know with Barcelona as you might have noticed during the whole Neymar charade.

    Now, whilst I agree that The Four Feathers wanted to leave, it still doesn’t explain how on Earth Lille could get more money for Hazard, a brilliant-but-far-from-being-a-finished-article-playmaker, than we did for The Four Feathers, a world champion with Spain, who had seven years of Champions’ League football behind him at the age of 24.

    The thing is, this article didn’t put all facts right. For instance, Lukaku had two successful loan spells with West Brom and Everton respectively. He is a young and powerful striker, a member of arguably the best Belgian generation ever (like De Bruyne and Thorgan Hazard for that matter). Whole hype created over Belgian players – deserved or undeserved – make their price bigger as well.

    Juan Mata’s transfer to United took place in January. That’s time of the year when you pay a premium price for a player, especially when you need a creative playmaker to save your job and have unlimited resources on your disposal. Moyes didn’t hesitate to spend money on Mata but it didn’t work well for anyone apart from Chelsea and even they didn’t get what they had wanted with that sale – to strengthen United before the clashes against City and Liverpool in the league.

    Now, the whole story about David Luiz is as weird as one can be. Paying 50 million of anything for Luiz on Football Manager should make a good argument on the court when you try to prove you are crazy, never mind paying that money in a real life.

  37. @jambug

    if you read my comment again I said that there is nothing to support wrongdoings. other than conspiracy theories tell me one piece of concrete evidence that has turned up to support the accusations regarding Chelsea’s transfer dealings
    Whereas with both the Banks and other financial evidence it he evidence of their failings are well published
    Interesting you say about greater wealth. Are you pointing fingers at the two major shareholders at Arsenal who I believe are very very wealthy men
    @Vintage Gooner
    1 Thomas Kalas whilst on loan it is at Middlesboro not Cologne
    2 Thorgan Hazard isn’t on loan . he has been sold something that Tony details in the article
    3 Bertrand isn’t on loan at Southampton he was sold to the in January
    4 Torres isn’t at A CMilan on loan . He was given a free transfer to them in January and they then sent him on loan to A Madrid
    5 Chabolah isn’t on loan at Burnley he is now at Reading on loan
    6 Blackman isn’t on loan. He is number 3 keeper in our first team squad
    7 Ferez is on loan at Blackpool
    8 Baker is on loan at M K Dons

    as I said the list isn’t up to date

  38. Tony – Right on point and very entertaining, as usual. Do any of the negative commenters actually READ what you’re writing? Must be frustrating.

  39. Mike T

    Are you saying that just because there is no proof in the public domain, that you think that EVERYTHING Chelsea/Roman are doing is legal and above board?

  40. If it looks like an Elephant, Sounds like an Elephant and smells like an Elephant, the chances are it’s an Elephant.

    If it looks dodgy, sounds dodgy and smells dodgy, the chances are it is dodgy.

    look, I know there isn’t the proof to back up any accusations. There may never be. But in my opinion, everything Chelsea do reeks of ‘dodgy’.

    If you don’t think so that’s up to you. I just think you’re deluding yourself.

  41. Here’s where I think your theory falls flat on its face. Why on Earth would PSG or Manchester United, 2 direct rivals of Chelsea, hurt their own FFP accounts in order to give Chelsea an advantage? Why would Wolfsburg, a club looking like it’s going to fail to comply this season, hurt their FFP books in order to help Chelsea? Of all of these ‘dodgy’ deals, the only club who wouldn’t actually be hurting themselves are Everton, and after the two seasons Lukaku has on loan, calling the fee they paid for him ‘inflated’ sounds silly.

    If there’s absolutely no evidence that anything untoward is happening, and it makes no sense at all for the other party to participate as you’re suggesting, this theory seems like grasping at the wind. Until you can come up with a logical explanation why clubs like PSG or United would risk punishment to help a direct rival cheat the system at their expense, this theory isn’t even worth speculating about.

  42. “If it looks dodgy, sounds dodgy and smells dodgy, the chances are it is dodgy.”

    Arsenal brought in Sanchez for £32M and Ozil for £42M. I don’t any proof but I smell some shady dealings going on.

  43. SteveO

    Here’s where I think your theory falls flat on its face.

    You think a business spending Billions of pounds is not corrupt.

    You think a business involving Raman is not corrupt.

    To me it is beyond belief you could even contemplate there ISN’T something dodgy going on at Chelsea.

    They say you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you cant fool all of the people all of the time……..well, except if you’re a Chelsea fan it seems.

  44. Jam, you’re not answering the question at all.

    Why would Manchester United, a direct rival to Chelsea, help Chelsea cheat the system to gain an advantage over United?

    Why would PSG, a club already facing FFP restrictions, help Chelsea cheat the system at their own expense?

    This isn’t a question of whether or not people believe everything is above board without evidence to the contrary, Chelsea would clearly have a lot to gain by cheating the system. The issue is that in basically all of the cases Tony cited, there’s absolutely no reason the other club, who HAS to be involved in order for this to work, would have any interest in helping Chelsea gain an advantage over them. This SPECIFIC THEORY sounds like silly musings, and doesn’t pass the smell test.

  45. “This isn’t a question of whether or not people believe everything is above board without evidence to the contrary, Chelsea would clearly have a lot to gain by cheating the system”

    yes it is.

  46. Jam, you’re quite simple, aren’t you?

    You obviously can’t answer the legitimate question posed, you just keep tightening that tinfoil hat. It’s not a flattering look, and it’s cutting off the circulation to a vital organ.

  47. Jambug

    The reality is if a club wanted to close the gap between profit and loss and introduce funds they are far more likely to be making unaccounted for payments to staff and suppliers and by so doing they would not have to account for the appropriate taxes like VAT ,PAYE etc.Far more convienet to keep the taxman out of all this!

    It really would be strange for a business to inflate income if there wasn’t some benfit to its owners or indeed the shareholders and as is well documented the owner at Chelsea is never going to get back what he has put in so no need to .Some business as we know love showing great big profits

  48. “Sanchez for £32M and Ozil for £42M.

    David Luiz £40 million.”

    Exactly my point. All three deals look fishy. Who needs evidence.

  49. @ Mike T

    Presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a legal concept. I would argue that most people believe that it is a good way to organize a society and protect citizens from arbitrary arrest. HOWEVER, just because I can’t prove something in court does not mean that it is not true nor that I cannot nor should not believe it.

    As regards Chelsea’s loan policies, I have no real problems with it; Arsenal does the same thing. Personally I think it replaces having a B team in a lower, say 4th, division.

    As regards the curiously inflated fees that Chelsea is being paid for players that haven’t been given a sniff at 1st team positions at Stamford Bridge, I raise my eyebrows. Are some teams engaging in kickbacks and side deals?..undoubtedly-these things are commonplace in the business world – and football is a business. Are Chelsea? Perhaps…as Tony said quite clearly – he has no proof…only suspicions.

  50. How did the Chelsea owner acquire his billions in the first place? Is it really clear how he did it? Just asking…

  51. @Al

    Part of the answer to your question, from Wikipedia: –

    “Abramovich later admitted in court that he paid huge bribes (in billions) to government officials and obtained protection from gangsters to acquire these and other assets (including aluminium assets during the aluminium wars)”.

    I don’t want to delve much deeper!

  52. Whatever about inflated prices for full international players, can the holy trinity explain what is wrong with sweeping up the worlds top talent and loaning them out to see how they develop, and why, as Josif points out, it is now wrong that chelsea are doing it when not very long ago this website lavished praise on Arsenal for having so many youngsters out on loan?

  53. It would seem to me that with a willing seller and a willing buyer, there is one price, acceptable to both parties.

    An agent will look to make a market, with 2 or more bidders, a much higher price, acceptable to the seller.

    Were the BT and British Gas sales to the public, corrupt? ONLY to the readers of the Morning Star!

  54. Psst………….don’t tell those in denial on here about that squeaky clean lot down at Fulham Broadway, ‘cos there never was a meeting at The Royal Park and Kenyon, Mourinho, Cole, Zahavi and Barnett were never there and there never was any financial shenanigans, was there?
    And I haven’t even mentioned ‘Broken Dreams’ and Ken Bates. They make old Henry seem like a Saint.

  55. Coyx:
    Oh dear… So what is Stan Kroenke’s position at Walmart? Here’s a clue – he doesn’t have one.

  56. But Percy the fact that Arsenal bid just £1 over the players release clause , which has since been confirmed as being the case means without doubt that Arsenal had contact with either an agent or indeed the Liverpool player without the authority of the owning club which under FA rules had Liverpool complained could have been awkward to say the least.

  57. Not sure there’s anything dodgy in these big fees they’ve been collecting recently. De Bruyne, Schurrle, Lukaku, Mata, even David Luiz- big fees but all in keeping with the market.

    A couple of times I’ve toyed with the idea there’s scope for extreme skullduggery- reporting a received fee as one thing, while actually receiving less; and vice versa- Costa, for instance, was surely a 40-50 million player on an open market (though there admittedly aren’t that many clubs who could pay it). But quickly I find myself realising it doesn’t make much sense. The other clubs have to present their books to the auditors too.

    Supposing the fees are, to an extent, dreamed up to mislead- i.e there’s no way for Uefa to check what money really changes hands- well, it’s time to stop even thinking about it all and give up. Again,though, there’d be the same problem- with Luiz , for instance, if an extra ten was listed on the fee to help Chelsea, it’d hurt PSG in a way they can ill afford to be hurt.

    Still, I don’t think their manoeuvrings deserve half the acclaim they’re getting in the press. If you have a budget of twenty, or forty, million, spending 18 million on Lukaku, even if you are getting brilliant feedback from your scouts and believe there’s a great chance he’ll make it is, at best, an agonising decision. It is very high risk stuff.

    Spending it when you don’t have a budget is an entirely different matter. First, you don’t have to sacrifice some other potential purchase;second, it doesn’t hurt you badly if it doesn’t work out. That was a lovely position to be in and they exploited it ruthlessly and well. If they are still able to generate huge profits on the raft of significantly cheaper (they appear to have switched to players for 1-3 mill, as opposed to 5-15 mill) players they have brought into the loan-farming operation in the years since FFP kicked in, then you’ll be able to say they are showing extreme canniness. That will be a much harder thing to do.

  58. I find it fascinating that Mike T, has now “come out” from his normally exuded “nice person persona” to one quite eager to fight dirty in his efforts to defend his despicable club by trying to lower Arsenal to their level.

    I always suspected there was a lot more to Mike T than the “reasonably well informed Chelski nice guy” he would have us believe.

  59. @Mike T:
    Oh dear, yet again another weak effort – go sit in the corner with Coyx. I’m not sure exactly what the protocols are in these circumstances but pretty much every news outlet reports these clauses as soon as the player signs his new five year contract. Are you the only person who is unaware of them? Do you know that The Arsenal had always dealt directly with Liverpool and made bids of £35m+ and that not a word came from our club? The details were blabbed to the press by Rodgers and John Henry inviting offers to match the value of Cavani. Please engage brain before posting.
    So why did Liverpool not complain? Probably the same reason Atlético Madrid didn’t – from The Guardian 04.06.2014:
    “Chelsea have paid the buyout clause in Costa’s contract – he shares the same agent as Mourinho, Jorge Mendes – and the club are pushing ahead with the rest of their business.”
    Well, there’s a surprise, then. That glasshouse is looking a bit wrecked.
    “Broken Dreams” is a good read, what?

  60. @bjt@percy

    I the point I was trying to make was that in effect every club either sails very close to the line

    The whole way contracts work in Spain are different iin that clubs both publish and indeed register such matters in addition my understanding is that when a club makes an official approach they are told the buyout clause . Lets not forget Liverpool even denied there was such a clause .

    In the UK whilst the contracts are registered at the FA they are confidential and neither the player or indeed the agent is allowed to have any discussions with a third party or indeed another club as to what is contained in them.

    It’s clear in the Suarez case that Liverpool didn’t disclose the £40 million clause so that information has to have come from elsewhere which under the rules , had Liverpool lodged a complaint would have been interesting.

    Of course Chelsea’s pursuit of Cole was far from subtle but please don’t think that many clubs don’t put themselves outside the rule for as someone posted just because there is no conviction doesn’t mean that there isn’t guilt

  61. THomb, I think you need to take the article in context. It is based on the suggestion something might be happening, unlike most media which write articles as if they are indeed fact. Unusual patterns are the start of any evidence trail, just ask the betting industry. The other thing you have to take into account is history and logic, we know all big businesses will operate corruptly in some form and by various scale (just look at the recent problems with Boots,Glaxo,Tesco, HMSC,costa to name just a few)so the history shows us the chances are likely. If you then consider the biggar the amount of money and greater gain the more often the occurrence of corruption. Then factor in Roman history and how he has aquired money in the past its not looking good for a legitimate answer. Put these things together and logic tells you quite clearly to expect the irregular.
    Conclusions in life are not always based on hard fact but that doesnt make them wrong. When people first started getting ill and dying from cigarettes there wasnt alot of hard evidence but we knew something waas wrong,if the booky was looking at this question I know where he would have his money. Oh and the Chambers transfer is not conparable firstly because of age, secondly because he is English, we know that always puts extra millions on the deal.
    You made be right there may be nothing going on but to refuse to accept the possibility because you can see no hard facts is naive.

  62. sorry that should read Roamn’s history (the chelski owner and not the conquering Italians)

  63. @MikeT
    Trying to characterize the Cole incident as ‘far from subtle’ and as equivalent to the Suarez bid is quite ridiculous. £600,000 in fines were handed out and Chelsea got a suspended 3 point deduction – you’re trying a bit too hard here.
    And you’re simply wrong about Liverpool. It’s often required that clubs have to inform players of bids coming in and you have no way of knowing what Ayre or Rodgers said in the negotiations to The Arsenal or Suarez. We do know that Rodgers went sobbing to the media that several incremental bids had come in and that The Arsenal were entirely silent.
    And Liverpool denied the clause, did they? Explain the following report then:

    Henry, speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference,
    “Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League, which is arguably the top soccer league in the world,” Henry is reported to have said. “He had a buyout clause of £40m. Arsenal, one of our prime rivals, offered £40m plus £1. What we’ve found … is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually, in world football.

    “It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving. We sold a player, Fernando Torres, for £50m, that we did not want to sell, we were forced to.”

    Remind me, where was it Torres was forced to be sold to, now I’m pretty sure it wasn’t North London, where was it..?

  64. steveO

    My contention has been that even without irrefutable proof, to me, and to anyone with a modicum of intelligence, and the tiniest grasp of how big business works, can see that what Chelsea are doing is ‘dodgy’.

    Since your post accusing me of being ‘quite simple’

    AL @ 6:09pm

    “How did the Chelsea owner acquire his billions in the first place?”

    bjtgooner @ 6:32pm

    Part of the answer to your question, from Wikipedia: –

    “Abramovich later admitted in court that he paid huge bribes (in billions) to government officials and obtained protection from gangsters to acquire these and other assets (including aluminium assets during the aluminium wars)”.

    arse_or_brain @ 9:44am

    “The other thing you have to take into account is history and logic, we know all big businesses will operate corruptly in some form and by various scale (just look at the recent problems with Boots, Glaxo, Tesco, HMSC, costa to name just a few)so the history shows us the chances are likely. If you then consider the bigger the amount of money and greater gain the more often the occurrence of corruption. Then factor in Roman history and how he has acquired money in the past its not looking good for a legitimate answer. Put these things together and logic tells you quite clearly to expect the irregular.”


    “Conclusions in life are not always based on hard facts but that doesn’t make them wrong. When people first started getting ill and dying from cigarettes there wasn’t a lot of hard evidence but we knew something was wrong,”

    If you really and truly believe that what is happening at Chelsea is all honest and above board then I’m afraid it is not me that is ‘quite simple’ is it?

    PS Thanks to bjtgooner, AL, arse_or_brain and of course Percy.

  65. Again Jam, ignore the question I asked about the logic here, and just make lots of load noises. That seems to be your M.O. Who cares why rivals would feel the need to help Chelsea cheat the system, because we can just call business ‘dodgy’ over and over and ignore those pesky details.

    It’s the sort of behaviour a simpleton resorts to.

  66. steveO

    Why would people help Chelsea to beat the system?

    I don’t know, but it looks like they are wouldn’t you agree?

  67. steveO

    Don’t you think you should stop resorting to childish insults as it just makes you look a bit childish.

  68. It really doesn’t. Why on Earth would clubs like United and PSG hurt themselves to help a rival? Simple answer is, they wouldn’t. You’d think they’d help Chelsea if it benefited them as well, but in this scenario, it does the opposite. It’s all well and good to think something is ‘dodgy’, but this isn’t a theory that just lacks any evidence to back it, it lacks logic as well.

    This whole post makes this corner of the Arsenal look a bit foolish, and childish. Chelsea make some deals we’re all envious of, so Tony throws out the “I’m not saying they’re cheating, but they’re cheating” argument even if it makes nos sense at all. Instead of screaming about their owner, corruption, and money being the root of all evil, don’t you think it would make sense to try to find a feasible method with which their ‘cheating’ rather than just resorting to straw man arguments?

  69. RA

    His Business ‘modus Operandi’ outside Football:

    -Bribing Government officials.

    -Paying for protection from gangsters.

    -Alluminium wars.

    His business ‘Modus Operandi’ within Football:

    All fine and above board.

    Is that what you believe?

  70. Again, Jam, ignore the question and make loud noises. Is everything necessarily aboveboard? I don’t know, what I do know is that the theory presented in this post makes no sense at all, because rival clubs aren’t going to hurt themselves for the sole benefit of helping Chelsea cheat FFP.

    Is it possible that Chelsea are cheating FFP? Sure. One thing I am certain of is that nobody here has presented a plausible theory about how yet.

  71. stevO

    I answered your question as I said:

    “Why would people help Chelsea to beat the system?

    I don’t know, but it looks like they are wouldn’t you agree?”

    You say:

    “Is it possible that Chelsea are cheating FFP? Sure.”


    “One thing I am certain of is that nobody here has presented a plausible theory about how yet.”

    Maybe not, but to that:

    “Conclusions in life are not always based on hard facts but that doesn’t make them wrong. When people first started getting ill and dying from cigarettes there wasn’t a lot of hard evidence but we knew something was wrong,”

    has been said.

    I have agreed there is no hard proof as to Chelsea’s wrong doings but, unless you are blind, or in complete denial, as you seem to be, all the circumstantial, as well as historic evidence points to the fact that what Chelsea are doing is dodgy. Even you agree they are probably cheating FFP for crying out loud.

  72. steveO

    “I think it’s actually pretty solid, if unsustainable work by the Blues.”

    Of course it is !!!

  73. Excellent article and definite food for thought.

    I’ve always said that Abramovich has been laundering the money his family received from masterminding the Kennedy assassination through Chelsea (and possibly other football clubs, as highlighted by this article) to fund the next stage of Putin’s expansionist agenda in Europe. What Tony is too professional to say, but what some of the expert analysts have hinted at here, is that that list of loanees is SO abnormal (Lord Wenger has never been guilty of such excess) that it is suggestive of something even more sinister. Research suggests that some of these “players” may be agents planted around the UK and Europe to be “activated” at a moments notice. Why footballers would be used for this is anyone’s guess but we are not in a position to take chances.

    Recent developments
    – Moscow police have denied reports that the 612 Scaglietti seen speeding away from the Nemtsov murder scene at the weekend was the same car gifted from Abramovich to Mourinho in 2007.
    – Pilot of doomed flight MH370 revealed as avid Chelsea fan.
    – Jihadi John spotted in Kings Road cafe just WEEKS before leaving UK.
    – Alexander Litvinenko revealed as creator of FFP.
    – Chelsea insider reveals suspicious non-football related activities such as SHOOTING at TRAINING CAMPS.

    Although there is no actual evidence for any of this, it is widely know that it is ACTUAL FACT.

    NB/ Capital letters used for additional EMPHASIS.

  74. On the contrary, there is ACTUAL evidence for ALL of this apart from the ‘Jihadi John’ development – that’s just being silly, with John Terry and the ‘Paris 3’ around the corner ISIS wouldn’t be seen within miles of the King’s Road.
    The rest, of course, are all FACT:
    It was either Jose or Frank

    The Russians and MH370 as told by Denis Wise family member

    Litvinenko was assassinated by Russians because of FFP and they tried to include us in their murderous activity

    Guns at Cobham is a FACT

    And you thought a bit of irony might get you a thumbs-up. The Truth Is Out There…

  75. I don’t think there is a thumbs up button, but if there was you’d be getting a hefty double thumbs up from me for your thought provoking response Percy my man. Thanks for your research, it really is a crazy world we live in. Who would have thought that someone would travel 1,500 miles to watch CSKA Moscow play football or that a member of the Wise family was able to read, never mind get a book published?

    My money is on Jose for the recent murder though. Fat Frank would be too conspicuous whereas Mourinho could easily mastermind such an operation. Just exactly how FAR does PUTIN’S influence stretch over CHELSEA FC????

    P.s. Any thoughts on who kidnapped Madelaine McCann? Was Mourinho at home in Portugal at the time?

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