June 17 – New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly says UEFA’s financial fair play rules are starting to bite and that clubs will no longer be able to sign players “at any price” due to the risks of sanctions.
An investment group led by Boehly (pictured) and Clearlake Capital acquired Chelsea last month after former owner Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Chelsea were transformed by Abramovich’s funding since he took over in 2003 but Boehly predicts the days of unlimited spending could be over.
“Financial fair play is starting to get some teeth and that will limit ability to acquire players at any price,” Boehly told the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin.
“UEFA takes it seriously and will continue to take it seriously. [More teeth] means financial penalties and disqualification from sporting competitions.”
Boehly, who is part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said he was hoping to use the American model to develop Chelsea’s brand.
“We think the global footprint of this sport is really undeveloped,” Boehly said. “There are four billion fans of European football. There are 170 million fans of NFL. Global club football is a fraction of the NFL media money. We are also going to be thinking about, how do we get more revenues for the players?
“I think there is opportunity to capture some of that American mentality into English sports and really develop them.”
Boehly also predicted Newcastle United will establish themselves as part of the Premier League’s new-look ‘big seven’ in the future.
Newcastle were taken over in October 2021 by a Saudi-led consortium for £300 million and now boast unparalleled financial power.
“The big six will become the big seven with the Saudi deal for Newcastle,” said Boehly.
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