New Chelsea FC Owner Todd Boehly Says FFP Will Limit Transfer Spending


It was Todd Boehly, and Clearlake Capital who acquired Chelsea FC from Roman Abramovich last month, but right now it feels like the Ricketts family had purchased the club. That’s because Chelsea’s summer transfer window has been so inactive, it’s similar to how Ricketts has been running his baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.

Boehly owns a Major League Baseball team too, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he spoke of Americanizing (you know what that means, corporatization) his new prized asset at the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin this week. Boehly also registered some warnings about Financial Fair Play, and how it might curb spending this summer.

“Financial fair play is starting to get some teeth and that will limit ability to acquire players at any price,” the American billionaire said.

“UEFA takes it seriously and will continue to take it seriously. [More teeth] means financial penalties and disqualification from sporting competitions.”

If FFP does indeed start to mean something now, and actually make a real impact, well that certainly is news-worthy. Look no further than Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, when it comes to FFP having no real teeth.

As for that “Americanizing” angle, Boehly also spoke of ramping up revenue and helping individual athletes develop their personal brands. Ah, American capitalism at its very finest.

“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?”

“If you look at [the NBA’s] LeBron James, for example, he has a whole business and a whole team dedicated to what’s not on the court. So I think there is opportunity to capture some of that American mentality into English sports and really develop them.”

He is right- there is still a ton of room for global football to grow, especially so in America. As for Chelsea’s summer transfer window, well, it’s moribund so far. Although they have been linked with Jules Kounde a lot and Robert Lewandowski somewhat.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd NetworkFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.


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