EPL: Is Chelsea's Apparent Spending Spree Something the Fans Can Believe In?

True BlueCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2011

Money, money, money.
Money, money, money.Michael Regan/Getty Images

For the last two seasons Chelsea have been telling the world that there is a determination to make the football club self-sufficient.

Under instructions from billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, the club limited its spending and invested in its academy.

Chelsea were, however, more willing to spend on youth players that they could develop into the stars of the future. They hoped to save tens of millions of pounds and change the way they were viewed.

When the initial reports of UEFA's FFPR began hitting the media it seemed as if Chelsea were ahead of the game. Some great financial management and bold decisions were going to bear fruit.

Even these early efforts left Chelsea struggling to break even so the aging squad was pruned and the higher earners were allowed to move on.

Joe Cole and Michael Ballack were examples of players deemed unnecessarily costly and so they were moved on.

The summer transfer window seemed to re-enforce the idea that Chelsea, once the spendthrifts of the Premier League, were now the frugal neighbours.

After a season where they won the League and Cup doubl,e they got off to a flying start and raced into a comfortable lead ahead of the chasing pack. All was well at the Bridge.

After a serious wobble and dip in form it seems that panic set in behind the scenes and enquiries were apparently being made on the quiet about the availability of some of Europe's top talent.

This week we have heard that a bid in the region of £20m has been sat on the Benfica president's desk, but the deal cannot be concluded quite yet; Chelsea are not willing to bend any further.

A few days ago a double swoop for Atletico Madrid players Aguero and Godin at a massive £52m was splashed across the newspapers.

Chelsea were apparently back in the spending business.

But then the story was denied by Chelsea. Did they get spooked and worry that their willingness to spend so much at Atletico would embolden Benfica in their negotiations over Luiz?

And today we have found out that they have bid for Liverpool's prize asset, Fernando Torres.

Chelsea initially bid £27m for a player with a buy-out clause of £50m and it was unsurprising to hear that the bid was turned away.

Apparently, Chelsea have been back again and offered £30m; the answer was again no.

So why all of these bids now?

Are they trying to get deals done before the full implications of the FFPR hit? That would make sense on one level but surely the wages needed to convince these players to sign would, in the longer term make their position in terms of FFPR less favourable?

Is Abramovich willing to splash the cash to prove to other clubs, namely Manchester City, who the big boys still are? 

Or are these bids just there to put others out of their stride?

After all, putting bids in does not necessarily mean you conclude a deal, does it?

I suspect that Chelsea are stopping other clubs from bidding for players they may want themselves, but only in the summer. It's a stalling tactic if you will.

If they really wanted to prove the were back at the top table in spending terms they would simply pay the fees required, but that doesn't appear to be happening.

Offering only £27m for Torres is a case in point. The world and his wife know that Torres is better than a fee of £27m and yet Chelsea start so low as to make the next few days interesting for Sky Sports News and Twitter, but with no time to do the deal.

The next few days are going to be interesting, but perhaps Chelsea won't conclude any of these deals but also neither will any other club.


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