Wenger sends dire warning that new Chelsea owners cannot match Abramovich in Liverpool, Man City hunt
The new owners at Chelsea cannot expect to have as much freedom as Roman Abramovich had in getting the club off the ground, according to Arsene Wenger.
The Blues are facing a defining new chapter in their history after their Russian owner’s decision to sell up. Abramovich transformed Chelsea’s fortunes when buying the club in 2003.
In fact, no English club has won more major trophies than Chelsea under the oligarch’s investment.
However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine put pressure on Abramovich to part ways with the Stamford Bridge side.
As for who will replace Abramovich, a consortium of new owners looks a likely option. Indeed, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and American Todd Boehly have submitted an offer.
Meanwhile, The Guardian has claimed that British property tycoon Nick Candy is preparing a £2.5million bid for Chelsea.
According to former Arsenal manager Wenger, though, Chelsea‘s new owners will not be able to have the same instant impact Abramovich had early on in his reign.
“You cannot. Today you cannot put that money in, privately, that is impossible,” the Frenchman told beIN Sports (via the Daily Mail). “It is limited to, I think, £200m over three years. At that time you could put a billion in.
“I always advised people who wanted to buy football clubs, instead of putting £100m in every year, put £500m in in the first year and buy the right players, then you have a team. He [Abramovich] could do that and he did very well and today I think the club is managed very well and is at a top level.
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“It is still sustainable as a football club today because they are at a good level. But after that when you come in it is down to money and good decisions.
“Sometimes people have good decisions but no money, sometimes they have money but they make bad decisions. So you have to put the two together.”
Chelsea won the Champions League again under Abramovich last season. It was a fantastic end to Thomas Tuchel’s first half-season as manager. However, the Blues are still a way off in the Premier League.
They started the campaign well, but Liverpool and Manchester City have broke away above them. As such, cementing third place looks like a firm target in the league for Tuchel.
Moving forwards, though, Wenger warned that Chelsea cannot go chasing big investment to close the gap.
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“I would say he [Abramovich] was the first big investor [before] the Glazers to come in, at a golden period for a guy that was a billionaire. There was no Financial Fair Play, you could put as much money in as you wanted,” Wenger said.
“Today, with the FFP, I would not necessarily advise somebody to come in to fight against Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, who are lightyears ahead of them, to build a good team – because you cannot invest the money you want to invest.
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“So it is much more difficult today. But he came in at the golden period and I give him credit.
“He understood quickly what to do, put competent people in charge who managed the club very well and put him to a level that is absolutely outstanding. I have a lot of respect for what he did.”
Chelsea facing key end to the season
While the Premier League title looks a long shot for Chelsea this season, they can still achieve a cup double.
They have a two-goal advantage over Lille in the Champions League last 16. Meanwhile, they play Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup later this month too.
On the pitch, Tuchel’s team is fairly stable, with strength in depth all across the pitch.
Up front, Romelu Lukaku is competing with Kai Havertz for a spot in the team. Tuchel has said that despite Havertz dominating his thinking recently, he cannot look past Lukaku’s goal threat.