Premier League • England

Neville likens Todd Boehly to Glazers and Woodward in big Chelsea warning of Man Utd deja vu

Todd Boehly, Chelsea owner June 2022

Gary Neville has warned that new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is following the same troublesome path Manchester United’s chiefs have treaded.

The Blues were glad to secure new investment from the American-led consortium and dispel huge uncertainty over the future of the club. Chelsea therefore looked forward to a bumper first transfer window to usher in their new chapter.

Boehly, while overseeing ownership of the Stamford Bridge club, is also their acting sporting director. Indeed, former Chelsea chiefs Bruce Buck, Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia have all left over the summer.

That has meant Boehly taking the lead on transfers – and Raheem Sterling from Manchester City was not a bad starting point.

However, Chelsea have suffered key frustrations in their defender search. They may have signed Kalidou Koulibaly, but they lost out to Jules Kounde and are now going after the likes of Josko Gvardiol and Wesley Fofana.

According to former Manchester United full-back Neville, Boehly looks “panicky” and like he is “wandering around” without a true plan.

“The American guy [Todd] Boehly, looks like he wants to play football manager,” the pundit told The Overlap. “There’s a bit of that in him.

‘He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. You’re seeing that they’re in for [Frenkie] De Jong this morning and it feels like he has to do something. That pressure is on him.

“He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea.

“Obviously, they’ve lost a few defenders as well. They might even lose more to Barcelona.

“I mean, look, let’s be clear, firstly – they’re [Chelsea] reacting to what’s available and what other clubs are doing.”

Neville compares Chelsea, Boehly to Man Utd

Neville claimed that Boehly’s name is “too prominent” compared to the Liverpool and Man City transfer decision-makers.

More importantly for Neville, he insisted that he can see the problems the Glazers and Ed Woodward have handed United emerging at Chelsea.

“Chelsea have got that sort of, Manchester United under The Glazers, Ed Woodward, “I’m taking over, I’m the man now, I’m going to go out and basically buy the players” and then they’re linked with every player that Barcelona want, every player that City want, every player that United want,” the ex-full-back said.

“They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he [Todd Boehly] has to do something. I’m hearing his name too much.

“It feels like, it’s not to be disrespectful, you know he’s a prominent guy, he’s just bought the club and everything.

“He’s fronted a fund that’s paid two and a half billion quid, but to get rid of all that football operation that’s been unbelievable for that many years and come in and do it yourself, it does feel like Ed Woodward that to me. We’ll see it develop.”

Blues need strong start to season

Chelsea will undoubtedly be chasing new signings throughout August in the early weeks of the season.

And that is why they need a strong start to the campaign. A slow beginning for Chelsea will only ramp up the pressure on Boehly and manager Thomas Tuchel to deliver.

Get a few wins under their belt in August, though, and the atmosphere will be much calmer at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea face Everton in their Premier League opener on Saturday and a win can get Boehly’s project off the ground.

After that, they play Tottenham and Leeds United, further sides who want to kick on after last season.