Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not Enough£75 million Spent and Still No European Success - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough £75 million Spent and Still No European Success - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

£75 million Spent and Still No European Success

The glum expression on the face of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich at Old Trafford on Tuesday night pretty much summed up Chelsea’s season. A crushing 3-0 defeat at home to Sunderland on November 14th sparked a downward spiral that saw the Blues slip from first to fifth in the Barclays Premier League in the space of two months. Tuesday night all but ended Chelsea’s chances of winning any silverware this season, and Abramovich’s dream of winning the Champions League vanished for another year.

Carlo Ancelotti’s New Year present from Abramovich was £50 million signing Fernando Torres who was meant to provide the goals that would fire Chelsea to European success. Instead the Italian inherited a striker that has not scored a goal in 693 minutes on the pitch. On the other hand Didier Drogba (who replaced Torres at half-time on Tuesday night) scored his 143rd goal in 300 Chelsea appearances. Many people had earmarked Chelsea’s Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United as make or break time for the Blues boss, but Ancelotti insists he still has another year on his contract to complete.

Brazilian defender David Luiz who was signed alongside Torres for £25 million in the January transfer window was ineligible to play in any Champions League matches, having already played for Benfica in the group stages of the competition. Having had Ramires sent off Chelsea ended the match against United with the same squad of players on the pitch that had lifted with the Premier League title last season. One therefore has to look at whether money will buy immediate success as desired by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

 Torres has struggled to find his from of the European Championships and 2008 / 09 season. The valuation of £50 million for a player out of form was very steep, especially when you look at the options in attack already at Chelsea. Last season Drogba and Anelka netted 40 league goals between them and Daniel Sturridge has scored 6 league goals since being loaned out to Bolton in January. Having already spent £524.8 million on player transfers prior to January, the latest additions to the squad raised the owner’s spending to £600 million on transfers alone. With many of the top earners at Chelsea earning in excess of £100,000 a week it is hard to see the long term business plan that Abramovich has installed at the club.  

In January Chelsea announced losses of £71 million for the year ending 30th June 2010, despite winning the Premier League and FA Cup in that time. Those figures do not include the £75 million spent on the signings of Torres and Luiz in January. Abramovich’s willingness to continue bankrolling Chelsea’s pursuit of European glory must be reaching the end of its tether. With Tottenham also being knocked out of the Champions League this week the battle to finish in the top four is now heating up. Failure to qualify for the Champions League next season is simply unthinkable for Chelsea and Ancelotti. However, one has to think that the Russian is already lining up his next man to lead the bid for European glory at Chelsea.


Jack Cavilla

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