Charting Chelsea's Year-by-Year Transfer Spend Under Roman Abramovich

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2013

Charting Chelsea's Year-by-Year Transfer Spend Under Roman Abramovich

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    It all started with the £6 million capture of Glen Johnson in July 2003, and since then Roman Abramovich's Chelsea have gone on to sign a host of the world's finest talent.

    Since 2003, according to The Sun newspaper, Abramovich has spent a cool £2 billion at Chelsea, with transfer fees and player salaries forming a major part of that outlay.

    There hasn't been a decade like it in football, and one can only imagine what the next 10 years will bring for Chelsea fans and their Russian owner.

    Rather than appearing to tighten the purse strings, though, Abramovich's spending continues to rival that of any club across the globe.

    With the expected return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge this summer, rumors are abound of a £100 million transfer war chest. The Mirror reports this as part of Abramovich's plan to bring back the so-called "glory days" the Blues experienced under their Portuguese manager.

    With Mourinho at the helm or not, if the Blues do indeed spend cash to those levels this summer, it will be a considerable statement as to their owner's hunger for more success.

    The 2012-13 season ended all but a week ago, and already some of the world's biggest stars are being linked with moves to West London. Only time will tell where these expected new arrivals will rank in Chelsea's transfer history.

    There have been some big hits and considerable misses at Stamford Bridge over the past 19 transfer windows before this summer. Bleacher Report remembers them all as we track Chelsea's spending since 2003.

2003-04: Abramovich's First Season

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    Chelsea had reached the Champions League for only the second time in the club's history in 2003, with Roman Abramovich buying the Blues a few weeks after their vital 2-1 victory against Liverpool sealed fourth spot in the Premier League.

    With money tight and rumors of mounting debt, the only arrivals before Abramovich's billions were pumped into the club had been Jurgen Macho, Marco Ambrosio and Neil Sullivan—all goalkeepers—on free transfers. Almost overnight, that changed with talent arriving from all over the globe as Abramovich spent big.


    Glen Johnson (from West Ham United): £6 million

    Geremi (from Real Madrid): £7 million

    Damien Duff (from Blackburn Rovers): £17 million

    Wayne Bridge (from Southampton): £7 million

    Juan Sebastian Veron (from Manchester United): £15 million

    Joe Cole (from West Ham United): £6.6 million

    Adrian Mutu (from Parma): £15.8 million

    Alexei Smertin (from Bordeaux): £3.5 million

    Hernan Crespo (from Inter Milan): £16.8 million

    Claude Makelele (from Real Madrid): £16.6 million

    Scott Parker (from Charlton Athletic): £10 million

    Total: £121.3 million

2004-05: The 'Special One' Arrives

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    The one signing that overshadowed the arrival of any player at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004 was that of Jose Mourinho, who was appointed manager following the departure of Claudio Ranieri.

    Mourinho picked up where his Italian predecessor left off, too, wasting no time in bringing in a host of players to bolster Chelsea's ranks in his pursuit of glory.


    Petr Cech (from Rennes): £7 million

    Paulo Ferreira (from Porto): £13.2 million

    Arjen Robben (from PSV): £12 million

    Mateja Kezman (from PSV): £5 million

    Tiago (from Benfica): £8 million

    Didier Drogba (from Marseille): £24 million

    Ricardo Carvalho (from Porto): £20 million

    Jiri Jarosik (from CSKA Moscow): £3 million

    Total: £92.2 million

2005-06: With Title Success Secured, the Blues Chase More Glory

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    Jose Mourinho had just inspired to Chelsea to their first league championship in 50 years in 2004-05, but he wasn't done there. The Portuguese had Roman Abramovich's cheque book out yet again in the summer of 2005, making the signings that would see his team secure back-to-back Premier League titles.


    Asier Del Horno (from Athletic Bilbao): £8 million

    Scott Sinclair (from Bristol Rovers): £200,000

    Lassana Diarra (from Le Havre): £1 million

    Shaun Wright-Phillips (from Manchester City): £21 million

    Michael Essien (from Lyon): £24 million

    Total: £54.2 million

2006-07: The Superstars Arrive

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    Up to this point, save for the odd player, Chelsea had been focused on signing players who would fit into their system—players who would become stars while at Stamford Bridge.

    There was a notable change in that come 2006, though, with the Blues bringing in some major names from across Europe.


    Michael Ballack (from Bayern Munich): Free

    Salomon Kalou (from Feyenoord): £8 million

    Andriy Shevchenko (from AC Milan): £30 million

    John Mikel Obi (from Lyn Oslo): £16 million

    Khalid Boulahrouz (from Hamburg): £7 million

    Ashley Cole (from Arsenal): £5 million

    Total: £66 million

2007-08: The Jose Love Affair Turns Sour

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    There had been rumors of Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich falling out over numerous things at Chelsea, but they remained just that until the summer of 2007.

    Chelsea fans had been praying it was not the case, but with very few funds spent that summer in comparison to previous years, it was the biggest hint yet that all was not well between Mourinho and the Chelsea owner, who appeared to withdraw support for his ventures into the transfer market.

    Branislav Ivanovic, Nicolas Anelka and Franco Di Santo arrived in January 2008, five months after Mourinho was fired.


    Steve Sidwell (from Reading): Free

    Claudio Pizarro (from Bayern Munich): Free

    Tal Ben Haim  (from Bolton Wanderers): Free

    Slobodan Rajkovic (OFK Belgrade): £3.8 million

    Florent Malouda (from Lyon): £15 million

    Juliano Belletti (from Barcelona): £3.7 million

    Alex (from PSV): £1 million

    Nicolas Anelka (from Bolton Wanderers): £15 million

    Branislav Ivanovic (from Lokomotiv Moscow): £9 million

    Franco Di Santo (from Audax Italiano): £3 million

    Total: £50.5 million

2008-09: Luiz Felipe Scolari Takes Charge

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    From the highs of the Mourinho era to the lows of Luis Felipe Scolari's ill-fated reign, 2008-09 almost became a season to forget for Chelsea fans until Guus Hiddink rescued the campaign in February and they won the FA Cup.

    There was a new manager at the helm in 2008 and with just over £20 million spent, it seemed a new approach from Roman Abramovich also.


    Jose Bosingwa (from Porto): £16.2 million

    Deco (from Barcelona): £8 million

    Mineiro (from Hertha berlin): Free

    Ricardo Quaresma (from Inter Milan): Loan

    Total: £24.2 million

2009-10: King Carlo Reigns Supreme

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    After a barren spell by their own standards in the past couple of seasons, Chelsea were back among the trophies come the end of 2009-10 as they secured a league and cup double for their first time in their history.

    They had Carlo Ancelotti to thank for that—but also a £21.5 million outlay from their owner.


    Ross Turnbull (from Middlesbrough):  Free

    Daniel Sturridge (from Manchester City): £3.5 million

    Yuri Zhirkov (from CSKA Moscow): £18 million

    Total: 21.5 million

2010-11: Blues Spend Big Again

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    After spending just £45 million in two seasons, Roman Abramovich couldn't resist splashing out in 2010-11 as the Blues more than doubled their transfer outlay from previous years.

    In came Fernando Torres and David Luiz to varying levels of success, but with Abramovich some £70 million poorer after the pair arrived on transfer deadline day in January 2011.

    The signings of Torres and Luiz weren't enough to win the Blues a trophy, but their arrivals outlined that Chelsea meant business once more.


    Yossi Benayoun (from Liverpool): £5 million

    Ramires (from Benfica): £19.8 million

    Fernando Torres (from Liverpool): £50 million

    David Luiz (from Benfica): £21 million

    Total: £95.8 million

2011-12: Blues Arrive in the Promised Land

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    It seemed a new era was dawning at Stamford Bridge with the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas as manager in July 2011.

    It was all short-lived, though, with the young Portuguese fired come March that season as Chelsea's season looked to crumble around them. Roberto Di Matteo stepped in to steady the ship but did a lot more than that as the club lifted the FA Cup and Champions League for the first time.

    Including his spending in the 2011 summer transfer window, getting his hands on the Champions League trophy had taken Abramovich just shy of nine years and £597.25 million on transfer fees.


    Oriol Romeu (from Barcelona): £4.35 million

    Romelu Lukaku (from Anderlecht): £18 million

    Juan Mata (from Valencia): £23.5 million

    Raul Meireles (from Liverpool): £12 million

    Gary Cahill (from Bolton Wanderers): £7 million

    Kevin De Bruyne (from Genk): £6.7 million

    Total: £71.55 million

2012-13: The Rebuilding Begins

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    Exciting times appear on the horizon at Chelsea, with an aging squad suddenly transformed after some astute work in the transfer market.

    The summer of 2012 saw the Blues acquire some exceptional young talent, including Eden Hazard and Brazilian midfielder Oscar.

    They may have had to pay a premium for their services, but in years to come those transfer fees will seem very little if they deliver on the potential they have already shown.


    Eden Hazard (from Lille): £32 million

    Marko Marin (from Werder Bremen): £7 million

    Oscar (from Internacional): £25 million

    Cesar Azpilicueta (from Marseille): £6.5 million

    Victor Moses (from Wigan Athletic): £9 million

    Demba Ba (from Newcastle United): £7 million

    Total: £86.5 million

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