25 responses

  1. GMan

    The loan system is intriguing, especially at Chelsea where they appear to be stockpiling a lot of average players.
    There is of course one simple solution to curtail the extravagance of the system and that is to make the owning club pay the wages in full. This would highlight the players that are in genuine need of experience at another club.
    Just cannot see the authorities do battle with the big clubs on that one.

  2. Sid

    Haven’t they just signed David Luiz back, he isn’t home grown?
    So a existing player from the squad will have to be dropped.

  3. DrWatsons

    Both Asmir Begovic and Victor Moses are home-grown

    • Tony Attwood

      Well Dr Watson, according to Wiki (which can be wrong but isn’t that often when it comes to the history of footballers) “Moses began his career in the Championship with Crystal Palace, before his performances caught the eye of Wigan Athletic, where he made his Premier League debut in 2010.”


      Begović started his professional career with English club Portsmouth, signing for them in the summer of 2003. After a sequence of loans, he made his Premier League debut in May 2009 and deputised for the injured David James early on in the 2009–10 season, before Portsmouth’s financial problems led to him being sold to Stoke City for £3.25 million in February 2010.

      If you have info to dispute this it would be good to have some source information.

  4. Robert

    Begovic and Moses are home-grown. Source PL website: https://www.premierleague.com/news/84136

  5. Tony Attwood

    My error – I took the phrase to mean developed by Chelsea, not that they are home grown like Fabregas. Totally my mistake. I shall go and lie down for a while.

  6. Usama Zaka


    I think Begovic and Moses are more of a Fabregas type of homegrown. Not Chelsea graduates but… graduates of other English clubs, Portsmouth and Palace respectively. Begovic spent 6-7 years at Portsmouth since the age of 16. And Moses spent nearly 10 years at Palace since the age of 11-12. Just a slight correction to be made. 🙂

  7. Usama Zaka

    Nevermind my comment above… Confusion cleared.

  8. Leon

    Mystery solved.

  9. Mike T

    Not quite sure what this article is trying to prove but Chelsea have registered 56 players with the PL . Quite a few, 34 are under the age of 21 the majority are HG but that is irrelevant as they don’t occupy one of the 25 allocated spaces. Of that 34 some are out on loan but players like Solanke have already been allocated a squad number . Should a major injury rush cause a problem there are a few who are lined up to play and I suspect if the opportunity arises they will indeed play.
    On the other hand Arsenal have registered 78 players in their PL squad nothing wrong with that But it’s one hellava lot of players who won’t get anywhere near the first team.
    There is no obligation to fill the 25 berth and it is commonplace not to indeed a quick look at Burnely they have used 21, Bournemouth 22, Palace 24.

  10. Mike T

    G. Man
    In accordance with FA rules all players contracted to English clubs on a permanent basis have to be paid through the owning clubs payroll even if a player goes out on loan.
    Of course it’s the norm that a few is paid when a player goes out on loan but it is far from uncommon for that fee not to cover the players wages.

    • GMan

      Thanks Mike. I believe MC are actually paying £13M in wages to loaned out payers. No doubt several
      clubs are in the same boat, further proof that the rich clubs can have as many players as they can afford on their books and in some cases it could be limitless.
      Gives less chance for the poorer clubs to pick them up.

  11. Robert

    “Puzzle 1: Why have they only got 20 registered players instead of 23 to 25 players?”

    It’s not unusual for a club to have less than 25 over-21 players on their books. Arsenal have operated with 22 or 23 in the past. Look at the link I gave you in my 6:03 post and you’ll find a number of PL clubs this season operating with less than 25, including Leicester, Liverpool, Man C, Man U and Tottenham.

    PL FFP wage caps may have something to do with it, or they may have U21 players who play regularly (eg the likes of Bellerín), or there just may not be enough decent English/Welsh/home-grown players to go round.

  12. Robert

    “Puzzle 2: Why are they putting so many players out on loan?”

    Clubs have three major revenue streams: matchday income, broadcasting and commercial income. However, there is a fourth stream – player sales – that some clubs have relied on, such as Southampton or Arsenal during the austerity years.

    Chelsea have clearly made a business decision to use the loan system to provide them with a constant stream of player sales.

    Here’s a quote from Swiss Ramble:

    “In the seven years between 2005 and 2011, Chelsea averaged £10 million profit from selling players, but this has shot up to an average of £38 million in the four years since then.

    In particular, Chelsea’s figures have benefited from £107 million from player sales in the last two seasons. Their reliance on this activity is underlined by the fact that they would have made a loss of £46 million in 2014 instead of a £19 million profit without these transfers…

    Given that very few of these players [on loan] have succeeded in establishing themselves in Chelsea’s first team, it would appear that the primary purpose of this strategy is to develop players for future (profitable) sales, while effectively placing them in the shop window… Clearly, not every player will bring in big money, but this approach only needs a couple of lucrative sales to be successful.”


  13. Jambug


    “In the seven years between 2005 and 2011, Chelsea averaged £10 million profit from selling players, but this has shot up to an average of £38 million in the four years since then.”

    I’m not sure what you, or Swiss Rambler are trying to infer here, but if it’s that this loan system is somehow turning Chelseas transfer policy into a relatively efficient, neigh profitable system, then it seems to be failing dismally.

    The above paragraph cited from Swiss Rambler is very misleading, indeed when talking about transfers having the words ‘profit’ and ‘Chelsea’ in the same sentence is surely a joke.

    These are Chelseas net profit a loss figures for the last 10 years as published in transferleague.com


    2016………£108 Million loss
    2015………..£9 Million loss
    2014………..£5 Million loss
    2013……….£50 Million loss
    2012……….£72 Million loss

    That’s a net loss on transfers of close to £250 Million over 5 years, or £50 Million per season.

    2011……….£63 Million loss
    2010……….£82 Million loss
    2009……….£17 Million loss
    2008……….£10 Million profit
    2007………..£7 Million loss
    2006………..£7 Million profit

    That’s a net loss on transfers of over £150 Million over 5 years, or around £30 Million per season.

    Over the 10 year period, 2006 to 2016 that’s a net LOSS of approximately £400 Million, or £40 Million per season.

    Can someone please explain how, under any circumstances, those figures correlate with the following statement from Swiss Rambler ?

    “……..but this approach only needs a couple of lucrative sales to be successful.”

    Hmmm ? Well maybe so, but these figures suggest that those ‘couple of lucrative sales’ Chelsea ‘only’ need have categorically failed to materialise.

    Unless I’m missing something Robert, that Swiss Rambler article you cite is seriously flawed, or at best simply misleading.

  14. Andy Mack

    Jambug, Swiss ramble seems to have rather lost the plot a few years back.
    He was by far the best info on the finances of clubs for a few years, definately the ‘Go-To’ site for it.
    He had the ability to stand back and look at the facts where possible and make balanced calls on stuff which wasn’t clear but since he returned from his serious health issues he hasn’t been the same. He seems to have a rather clouded vision on his guesses which are now more often wrong than right.

  15. Andy Mack

    The oddest part of the big/CL participating teams having less than 25 (ok, less than 23) players rather follows on from the way $iteh moaned a few years back when uefa restricted their squad numbers for the CL due to FFP failure.
    I can’t remember the number exactly but I think they were limited to 20 players and they whinged & moaned about how it would cause them problems for their 6 games (or a few more if they got through the group stage).
    Now they have 38 PL games and have restricted themselves to 16 international players and 4 home-grown players, although I do appreciate they have 3 or 4 talented options in their U21 squad.

  16. Menace

    There is a shadow benefit in having squads of loan players. That is ‘if’ you get banned from transfers for some reason. The stock will cover the ban period. There are some strange goings on when clubs get banned from transfers & agents don’t get punished. It takes 2 to Tango but agents don’t dance!!

  17. Jambug


    “It takes 2 to Tango but agents don’t dance!”


    And a great point.

  18. Mike T


    Without applying the agreed accounting practises in relation to players as assets it’s impossible to get a true picture of what is appearing in accounts from looking at transfer league or any like site
    For instance buy a player for say £ 40 million on a 5 year deal and sale that player for £30 million after 3 years a profit of £6 million is shown in the accounts yet transfer league would show a loss of £10 million

  19. Mike T

    Jambug just a little more meat on the bone

    If you buy a players on 5 year deals for £50 million. For each of the 5 years he costs £10 million the process is called amortisation. So each year in the accounts you don’t show the transfer spend you show the amortised sum.If you sell a player as I described earlier all of the profit is shown in the year of sale

  20. Jambug

    Mike T

    If I said grass was green you’d argue with me.

    Your reasoning leaves me cold, so it’s a case of whatever with you I’m afraid.

  21. Mike T


    Hold on now I am not disputing spend, far from it what I was doing is trying to explain how the Swiss Rambler and indeed any accountant will present the figures.
    You really need to stop being so sensitive and at least look at the arguements rather than just dismissing them out of hand.

  22. Jambug


  23. Robert

    Jambug, profit on player sales is defined by accounting standards, and true figures will only be found in the statutory published accounts of clubs. And those accounts are the source for Swiss Rambler’s analyses.

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