Who Will Cash-Strapped Chelsea Sell This Summer?

Chelsea fan giving hitler saluteChelsea announced a £65.7m loss for last year, a staggering sum, particularly as it marks an improvement over the loose-pursed past.  Though the tangible sum is less, the impact will be felt more, after Roman Abramovich as billionaire Roman Abramovich potentially lost the bulk of his fortune

Abramovich’s woes have already affected Chelsea.  The Russian owner gutted the scouting department, and considered forcing players to pay for their own lunches.  His own contribution, the £23.1 million paid to Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant not to manage the club, undoubtedly escaped censure.

The summer will see changes, especially if Chelsea do not qualify for the Champions League.  The primary target will be the substantial wage bill, £148.5m – Manchester United’s is just over £100m.  The payroll accounts for over 70% of Chelsea’s turnover.

Chariman Peter Kenyon admitted there would be sales in the summer.  

“Any squad structuring in the summer will be funded prominently by sales,” Kenyon told the Telegraph.  “We have set ourselves ambitious targets, to require zero cash funding from the owner at the beginning of the financial year 2009-10. 

The question then is not whether Chelsea sell, but who they will sell.  The first group, whatever the transfer fees, will be the malcontents.

Didier Drogba comes immediately to mind.  Making nearly £100,000 per week, he has scored three goals in 18 appearances this season.  He’s not the 2006-07 dynamo, nor is he even the occasionally effective player from last year.  His performance alone warrants an exit.  Add his abrasive personality and he’s a net negative waiting to be excised.

Florent Malouda is another candidate for dismissal.  He’s been the mystery man, so awesome before he came and so terrible since he arrived.  Only the illustrious Shevchenko saves Malouda from being the biggest transfer disaster of the past few seasons.  He can’t make the squad regularly and does not deserve to do so.  Chelsea should sell him before everyone sees him as irredeemable.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech could be on his way out as well.  He’s been off the pace this season.  He really has not been right since his horrifying head injury.  Cech was one of the players who reportedly submarined Scolari.  He has played poorly.  He is expensive.  You can get a goalkeeper for cheaper.

If Chelsea are looking for straight ego excision, they may try to offload Anelka, Deco and Michael Ballack as well.

Chelsea may want rid of these players, but they won’t get very much money for them.  If they are looking for instant book-balancing, or a substantial restructuring kitty, a marketable asset, one they’d like to keep, may be required.

Barring sentiment, John Terry should be the prominent candidate here.  He’s not leaving England, so his market value is limited, but Manchester City seem to want him and £40m figures are floating through the rumor mill.  Purely as a player, he’s replaceable.  If Chelsea can get even £20m for him while removing his salary from the books, they should do so.  Peter Kenyon says Chelsea won’t sell Terry.  Who knows if Peter Kenyon will be there?

Michael Essien may fit here as well.  Chelsea won’t want to sell Essien.  Assuming he recovers from his injury, he’s their best midfielder.  He’s versatile.  He can hold with the backline or move forward and make plays.  He would feature in any team in the world’s starting XI.  At just 26 years old, every big side in Europe could use him.  If Chelsea want substantial restructuring money, that may be their only option.

Chelsea have a hodgepodge squad, constructed with conflicting visions.  What they really need is a long-term manager who can work with a reasonable budget to refashion a coherent squad, possibly David Moyes.  Does a liquidity-crazed Roman Abramovich have the patience?

8 thoughts on “Who Will Cash-Strapped Chelsea Sell This Summer?”

  1. Yes Abramovich wants to bring Chelsea to stability, but do you really think he’s that cash strapped. As is pointed out in the article, he has paid a huge sum to managers he has sacked. Not to mention the money he was paying Scolari in salary

    I’d also point to the signings of Deco and Bosingwa this summer, as well as not off loading any of their substantial players as evidence that Chelsea are in pretty decent shape.

    If they fail to spend 100Million in a summer, is that proof to people that they are no longer just throwing money away? Did the thought ever occur to most people that a squad that came withing a whisker of a CL title, and took Man U to the last day of the season might not need too many additions?

    Is it really a surprise their scouting department has been axed. What results have they yielded? Developing one squad player every season? Besides Sinclair, and formerly Glen Johnson, do they have any youngsters on tap that have proven to be worth a damn? How Frank Arnesen is still collecting his massive salary is a mystery to me as well.

    I highly doubt that they sell Essien this summer.

    If they want to balance the books, it might be time, as the article said, to get rid of some of the big earners/under performers.

  2. I know it’s just a game but I took over for Chelsea the minute I they were willing to hire me in FIFA 09. The team was sluggish and poor so I sold Ballack, Drogba, Malouda, Cech, and Anelka. I made a ton of money and brought in better, cheaper players.

  3. I think Malouda has to go, tbh, he’s been fairly in-effective whenever we seem to play him and we dont need him.
    Cech and Ballack won’t leave, Cech hasn’t been great but he’s not been bad, he still makes good saves and he’s been a great replacement for Cudicini, who tbh, i wish we hadn’t sold as Hilario isn’t the most sturdy back-up goalkeeper.
    Drogba won’t leave if Mourinho comes are way, but if he stays at Inter, Drogba will go there and we’ll probably keep Quaresma.
    And maybe Deco will go? He’s been pretty rubbish tbh.

    The problem with Chelsea sometimes is that we ignore our youth players, who could quite happily fill in for some of our 1st teamers. We may as well let Ivanovic go, because Mancienne could not only be a good cover, but a possible starter especially after seeing his performance against Watford.

  4. I think Abramovich is cash-strapped. He’s still worth billions, but most of it is tied up in investments. I forget the exact details (and I’m too lazy to look them up), but he sold shares he bought in a Russian company last year for $50 million for $12 million. Which suggests he is short on liquid capital.

  5. the reason chelsea isnt gonna buy players is because they want to look fiscally responsible now. ManU might have less of a wage bill but they also have a huge debt with high interest they need to pay. Same goes for liverpool and arsenal as well but arsenal at least are fiscally responsible(though no CL will hurt them).
    Ballack’s contract is up at the end of this year and if he signs a new one offered it will be a performance based contract that is based on appearances more then weekly wages.
    At the moment chelsea has a solid backline that really doesnt need to be changed, yes terry doesnt need to be there for it to perform well but terry is a talisman of the club, a youth player to superstar so he will stay.
    The midfield of essien, mikel and lampard are solid and really good enough for most teams. The extra players ballack, deco and mineiro are useless cept as rotation.
    The wide players are chelsea’s weakness, kalou, malouda, j.cole all dont really perform to high enough levels to warrant being at the club. Kalou is the only one who id keep just because he is not really a true winger anyway.
    Our striker department of pizarro, drogba and anelka are ok but really drogba is too much a hassle, with injuries, african cup and suspensions he finds it hard to get 30 games a season in all competitions. Pizza-man probably wont stay as he prefers germany and anelka is doing good so he will only go if some1 bids alot of money for him(doubtful since he just a poacher).
    Of the young players mancienne, stoch and di santo have appeared in first team competition and performed well, not great but enough to warrant another go. Chelsea youth has been much maligned yet there are a couple who will do very well especially kakuta.

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