Were United the biggest PL spender pre-Roman at Chelsea? Gross, net, wages?

Beachryan

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As for where the money comes to fund transfers you seem to suggest that other clubs don’t generate their own revenue whilst no other PL club is able to achieve the levels that Man Utd do but as I pointed out the other day in terms in terms of value even if you add up every £ put into Chelsea by RA including the purchase from Bates alongside-cash injection to CFC
holding company to support losses and based on Forbes valuation then RAs investment, should he sale CFC, would show a significant profit.
As someone who kind of does this for a living, I have no idea where this logic comes from. Let's say Roman has put in c. $2bn into Chelsea, maybe its a few hundred million here or there, but what's that between billionaires.

Let's say I'm an entity with some capital, let's say for simplicity I have $2bn to play with, and I'd like to invest in such a way as to make good returns. Say 5% which I could probably get through various financial instruments. That's $100m of pure returns each year.

Chelsea Football Club has managed to come close to that exactly once in its history. When exceptional player sales managed it. Operating profits - the bit that is most like a 'normal' business are huge losses. According to Swiss Ramble, averaging over $60m loss each year over the last 10 years (2011-2020).

And Chelsea is only able to generate the onfield success and therefore revenue it does because Abramovich subsidises it. If it had to stand on its own to two feet as a going concern, it could not afford to buy Pulisic, Ziyech, Havertz etc and then be talking about Haaland. It would not have been able to buy Hazard - the only reason its ever been able to post decent profits.

There's some weird fallacy with the sugar-daddy clubs where fans justify the owners 'investment' due to the appreciation of the asset. But a PSG, or City or Chelsea is only worth these valuations because its owners are losing money on it. None of these clubs can support the level of spend they've been doing. No club in world football can. Look at Barcelona, or Madrid.

And it's not a go at Chelsea in particular - I posted very similarly about who could buy United. The fact is that football clubs today are not a good investment. You'd be better any number of financial instruments or other hedging products.

United was an excellent investment by the Glazers because they paid exaclty zero dollars for it. Therefore $20m a year of dividends is wonderful. But if someone had to pony up our 'market value' of c. $3bn for it, they'd want returns that no football club can deliver.

And so, we arrive at today, where the only clubs 'succeeding' are those that can lose money over the long term. The whole model is built on requiring outrageously rich people to subsidise the entire industry for kicks/sportswashing. It's stupid.
 

Sky1981

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As someone who kind of does this for a living, I have no idea where this logic comes from. Let's say Roman has put in c. $2bn into Chelsea, maybe its a few hundred million here or there, but what's that between billionaires.

Let's say I'm an entity with some capital, let's say for simplicity I have $2bn to play with, and I'd like to invest in such a way as to make good returns. Say 5% which I could probably get through various financial instruments. That's $100m of pure returns each year.

Chelsea Football Club has managed to come close to that exactly once in its history. When exceptional player sales managed it. Operating profits - the bit that is most like a 'normal' business are huge losses. According to Swiss Ramble, averaging over $60m loss each year over the last 10 years (2011-2020).

And Chelsea is only able to generate the onfield success and therefore revenue it does because Abramovich subsidises it. If it had to stand on its own to two feet as a going concern, it could not afford to buy Pulisic, Ziyech, Havertz etc and then be talking about Haaland. It would not have been able to buy Hazard - the only reason its ever been able to post decent profits.

There's some weird fallacy with the sugar-daddy clubs where fans justify the owners 'investment' due to the appreciation of the asset. But a PSG, or City or Chelsea is only worth these valuations because its owners are losing money on it. None of these clubs can support the level of spend they've been doing. No club in world football can. Look at Barcelona, or Madrid.

And it's not a go at Chelsea in particular - I posted very similarly about who could buy United. The fact is that football clubs today are not a good investment. You'd be better any number of financial instruments or other hedging products.

United was an excellent investment by the Glazers because they paid exaclty zero dollars for it. Therefore $20m a year of dividends is wonderful. But if someone had to pony up our 'market value' of c. $3bn for it, they'd want returns that no football club can deliver.

And so, we arrive at today, where the only clubs 'succeeding' are those that can lose money over the long term. The whole model is built on requiring outrageously rich people to subsidise the entire industry for kicks/sportswashing. It's stupid.
Just adding a little on this one that to make football club as a good investment you have to buy it before they blossom. Glazer (debt or no debt) come in at the right time, identify the untapped marketing commercial brilliantly, and the rest is history.

The biggest profit they make is buying United @ 1bn and now it's worth 4 bn. The rest is just marginal, a measly 20M / year isn't profit, that's just travel reimbursement.

For what it's worth I think there's still value in Championship level club, or lower table sleeping giants. But off course it goes more risky because you not only have to invest but you also need to make it work.

Not the best kind of business for a pure businessman.
 

georgipep

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Despite several examples showing it's not. And I never mentioned the Telegraph, because it is not a particularly reliable news source on most things, so I presume its football news is just as bad. The BBC, Guardian and Independent are highly regarded and as reliable as you can get for unbiased and accurate sports reporting.
What examples?

Apologies for the Telegraph <-> Independent mix up. The point, nevertheless, stands. It has nothing to do with bias, it has everything to do with access to information. A newspaper reports a transfer fee/wages and move on. They are not a record of football history. Transfermarkt aim to be exactly that though.
 

decorativeed

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What examples?

Apologies for the Telegraph <-> Independent mix up. The point, nevertheless, stands. It has nothing to do with bias, it has everything to do with access to information. A newspaper reports a transfer fee/wages and move on. They are not a record of football history. Transfermarkt aim to be exactly that though.
As someone who frequently works with designated collections in a museum/heritage archive, I can assure you that is 100% incorrect.

The examples are the '?' signs next to millions of pounds worth of players, the £41m quoted for Rio Ferdinand and the £17m quoted for Ronaldo.
 

Chabon

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Lot of guff in this thread.


During the 90s we were never anywhere near being the biggest spenders overall, although what we were doing was spending a lot on the stadium.

There was a brief period after the turn of the century when we looked like turning into the English Bayern Munich (although Leeds were still spraying their imaginary cash around), but then Abramovich happened and for the rest of the Fergie era we were paupers by comparison.

Also, as I routinely do, I’ll point out the following:

In the ten years between the appointment of Sir Alex Ferguson and the end of the 95/96 season, City spent more on transfers than United did. That season, of course, ended with United's third league title (and second double) in four years, and City getting relegated.

City then spent £11,000,000 on players over the following two seasons, which ended up with them getting relegated again.

God, I miss the 90s.
 

krentz

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Rush was bought back cheaper than what they sold him for - same as us with Hughes, so I don't consider either of those two. Grobbelaar was cheap as they signed him from Vancouver 10 years earlier. Barnes cost £900.000 and Beardsley left Liverpool 1 year before Premier League started. The total cost of Liverpools first team squad in 1992/93 was about £12 million. Uniteds squad was almost £18 million, so Uniteds squad cost a lot more than all the other teams. Even Blackburns squad with Shearer was nowhere near Uniteds (about £10 million)
so what's the problem if they bought him back cheaper than what they sold him for? it was still british transfer record anyway and 1.2 million more than Hughes. Grobbelaar as bought for 250k hardly low price for a goalie in 1981, and why'd left Beardsley out while in the other post you mentioned Neil webb? Both LEFT their respective clubs before PL started. I'm sorry but you sound like you're cherry picking the data to back up your claim.
 

Gehrman

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Lot of guff in this thread.


During the 90s we were never anywhere near being the biggest spenders overall, although what we were doing was spending a lot on the stadium.

There was a brief period after the turn of the century when we looked like turning into the English Bayern Munich (although Leeds were still spraying their imaginary cash around), but then Abramovich happened and for the rest of the Fergie era we were paupers by comparison.

Also, as I routinely do, I’ll point out the following:

In the ten years between the appointment of Sir Alex Ferguson and the end of the 95/96 season, City spent more on transfers than United did. That season, of course, ended with United's third league title (and second double) in four years, and City getting relegated.

City then spent £11,000,000 on players over the following two seasons, which ended up with them getting relegated again.

God, I miss the 90s.
Pretty incredible how little Newcastle won when they were the biggest spenders.
 

GBBQ

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The question is would we have been the biggest spenders if we didn't have the Class of '92. We were blessed with a core group of players who formed the basis of our '99 team. We also got Schmeichel, Keane, Irwin and Cantona in the early 90s (before the transfer fees really inflated) for less than £6 million. All this meant we had the bones of a world class team most of whom spent more than 10 years in the first team.
 

stevoc

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The question is would we have been the biggest spenders if we didn't have the Class of '92. We were blessed with a core group of players who formed the basis of our '99 team. We also got Schmeichel, Keane, Irwin and Cantona in the early 90s (before the transfer fees really inflated) for less than £6 million. All this meant we had the bones of a world class team most of whom spent more than 10 years in the first team.
Maybe, we would have had to sign other players. But I'm not confident given the wage structure in place that we could have attracted and/or afforded to sign World class players the calibre of Giggs, Scholes and Beckham if they had not came through the academy.
 

lysglimt

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so what's the problem if they bought him back cheaper than what they sold him for? it was still british transfer record anyway and 1.2 million more than Hughes. Grobbelaar as bought for 250k hardly low price for a goalie in 1981, and why'd left Beardsley out while in the other post you mentioned Neil webb? Both LEFT their respective clubs before PL started. I'm sorry but you sound like you're cherry picking the data to back up your claim.
Neil Webb did not leave United before the P.L started. He left in October 92 as I recall
 

lysglimt

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My thread contains those 4-5 seasons. And they show we spent a considerable amount in some seasons, a lot less in others and - over that period as a whole - less than Liverpool.

And once again - as a reminder - this thread is asking about the PL period. So I'm focusing on that. We signed Bryan Robson in 1981, so I don't believe it is relevant to this thread.
Yes and I accept that - but it still makes our spending sound a lot nicer considering we did not change a manager, and Ferguson basically had his entire team in place before the P.L started. So yes you are correct when you say we spent less than Liverpool - but the reason for that was that Ferguson did most of his spending prior to the period you look at. So it makes correct and somewhat irrelevant at the same time
 

krentz

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Neil Webb did not leave United before the P.L started. He left in October 92 as I recall
One month after PL started. BIG DEAL. The point still intact that Liverpool were a big spender and using your comment about how United didnt need to make many signings into PL era same can be said about Liverpool too, they'd had a good squad yet still spending money in big number.
 

stw2022

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How the PLC would have met the challenges in a post-sugar daddy world is interesting consideration
 

Noodle

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The way i see it is that some clubs will always have a financial advantage over others, it's happened throughout history with sides that have grown more organically having more funds than say 80-90% of the rest of the league.

United grew the organic way but regardless of where the money came from they could then afford to spend more than 95% of the rest of the league between 1992-2003. This purchasing power, regardless of where it comes from creates inequality over a sustained period of time, the PL inception almost guaranteed it when payments were so high for the bigger sides. Bayern, Barca, Real etc have grown organically and look at their domestic situations.

Then in comes Chelsea and City and admittedly blow everyone else out of the water to get to the top. Utd have been able to compete given how big they had become previously and in fact have still spent more in terms of net spend in recent years but nobody can argue Chelsea and City have spent silly money and inflated the game. Whether that is good or bad for competition i'll let others decide as the PL has had a decent spell with lots of winners.

But let's not kid ourselves that the 'organic clubs' didn't still have an unfair advantage once established. Real, Barca, Bayern, Utd, Juve etc without the new money clubs would almost certainly dominate in the modern big money era.

What we need is a utopia where every club in the top flight can operate on the same financial level, bring it back to purely how well a club is run. Cap every teams overall salary and transfer spend across the big leagues in a similar way to what F1 has done (Every team can only spend as much as the cap). If we want the league to be purely based on sporting merit and not finances let's make it so that every single club in each top flight league can afford to run at the same expenditure cap by 2026
 

krentz

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How the PLC would have met the challenges in a post-sugar daddy world is interesting consideration
The Man United PLC in early 2000's were a monster. They spent big and breaking transfer records from 2001-2004 so yeah i think we'd up to the suggar-daddy and state-backed clubs just fine. Also if we consider our transfer budget without the debt payment and "The Glazers' taxes" which is rumoured to be around 30M per year. :angel:
 

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Bloody hell, this thread :lol:

Arguing their "opinions" - even against facts provided to them, and continue arguing without even considering/admitting that their perceptions/opinions might be wrong. Geez.
 

acnumber9

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Had this been the other way about United fans would be saying the opposite and certainly wouldn't give a single care to having a single rich owner.
And if Pep Guardiola was managing Man United and not Man City you’d be camped in this thread defending the spending and deriding City’s. That’s the thing about biases, everybody has them.
 

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Can't find a table of spend totals from 92 to around 2003 but interesting article here. United were very rarely the highest spenders in a given season through the 90s (albeit probably still spending solidly)

https://www.football365.com/news/the-biggest-spender-in-every-pl-season-and-how-they-fared

In any case, United's money and spending is fundamentally different to that of Russian and Middle Eastern projects pumped full of money. No, we're not moral angels, but spending off the back of organic success is very different
Just goes to show how Chelsea & City ruined the PL.
 

Chipper

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Chelsea had the biggest wage bill when they got into financial trouble pre-Roman, don't know if that was mentioned yet? When they had Zola, Vialli etc.

There was an old infographic I've linked to in the past with that on, taking data from (I think) the annual Deloitte money reports about football finances. Will try and find it.

Edit: Bah, they've paywalled it - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/f...pending-from-the-200001-season-to-201112.html

Mind you, we were always up there in wages arount that time too. Always thought that was interesting thing about Chelsea, or at least intersting that it seems to be forgotten to a degree. They were splashing the cash not too long before Roman came too. Top wage bill in 00/01 and only finished 6th.
 
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Glorio

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NOPE.

@ThierryHenry14 here's some graphics for you

Oh that's a brilliant viz. I initially didn't realise it was cumulative and I also assumed (wrongly if these numbers are correct) that we would actually have had the highest net spend pre-Roman.

Another interesting point - Notice how our spending jumps post SAF - to no avail incidentally!
 
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I am very happy with the external investment to Chelsea, Man City, and even Leicester. It makes the league a lot more competitive. Otherwise Man Utd will be just like Bayern in germany, winning the league every season.
An Arsenal happy that Chelski and City utterly fecked them from being the deserved big Premier League rival through great management and sound investment/planning.

The idea it’d be a Bayern job without City & Chelsea is hilarious, Arsenal would have likely been the dominant team post Fergie if the oil clubs hadn’t fecked them over.
 

duffer

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An Arsenal happy that Chelski and City utterly fecked them from being the deserved big Premier League rival through great management and sound investment/planning.

The idea it’d be a Bayern job without City & Chelsea is hilarious, Arsenal would have likely been the dominant team post Fergie if the oil clubs hadn’t fecked them over.
It pretty much was a Bayern job in the Prem before Roman came along and saved English football from that fate out of the goodness of his heart.
 
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It pretty much was a Bayern job in the Prem before Roman came along and saved English football from that fate out of the goodness of his heart.
Well except:

2001-2002 Arsenal
2002-2003 United
2003-2004 Arsenal

Arsenal actually won 3 between 1997-2004 (Roman’s first season), United 4. Considering how poor United were in the Djemba Djemba years, Arsenal would have been neck and neck with United for the decade between 97-07. United eventually got their shit together again around 06, but upon Ronaldo’s departure in a non Chelsea/City world, Arsenal and Liverpool would have been right there in a great position to win titles.
 

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Chelsea had the biggest wage bill when they got into financial trouble pre-Roman, don't know if that was mentioned yet? When they had Zola, Vialli etc.

There was an old infographic I've linked to in the past with that on, taking data from (I think) the annual Deloitte money reports about football finances. Will try and find it.

Edit: Bah, they've paywalled it - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/f...pending-from-the-200001-season-to-201112.html

Mind you, we were always up there in wages arount that time too. Always thought that was interesting thing about Chelsea, or at least intersting that it seems to be forgotten to a degree. They were splashing the cash not too long before Roman came too. Top wage bill in 00/01 and only finished 6th.
Can't see that but a Google search turned up this which I assume uses a lot of the same information.

https://www.sportingintelligence.com/2013/10/24/arsene-wenger-what-is-he-good-for-251001/

Some interesting graphs that contain info on United's wages I was interested in. Also highlights the scale of the damaging effect Chelsea and City had on wage inflation in Football.






 

stevoc

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Well except:

2001-2002 Arsenal
2002-2003 United
2003-2004 Arsenal

Arsenal actually won 3 between 1997-2004 (Roman’s first season), United 4. Considering how poor United were in the Djemba Djemba years, Arsenal would have been neck and neck with United for the decade between 97-07. United eventually got their shit together again around 06, but upon Ronaldo’s departure in a non Chelsea/City world, Arsenal and Liverpool would have been right there in a great position to win titles.
Yep the idea that United would have had a free run at the title every year like Bayern do in Germany is nonsense. Liverpool are and always have been almost as rich as United. As you say Wenger would have kept Arsenal up there.
 
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Yep the idea that United would have had a free run at the title every year like Bayern do in Germany is nonsense. Liverpool are and always have been almost as rich as United. As you say Wenger would have kept Arsenal up there.
People tend to forget Arsenal pre Roman were emerging as the more dominant side, had Roman not arrived it’d have been 3 titles between 00-05 for Arsenal and just 2 for United.

Arsenal’s new stadium was always likely to put the brakes on that for a few years, but after that they’d have been every bit as able to compete with United and Liverpool in the market. That was the plan and it was a great plan with Wenger in the hot seat, the way a top football club should be run.
That Chelsea and City came in and started using them in their weakened position as a feeder club, taking players like Ashley Cole and Nasri off them on a yearly basis makes @ThierryHenry14 ‘s cliams that he was “happy” about Chelsea and City’s investments fecking hilarious. :lol:
 

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1) If you want to cut through all the (debatable) numbers, all the more or less spurious arguments, and all the tribal posturing - the truth is that United had Fergie.

If you remove Fergie from the equation, the money means feck all.

2) The money spent by Chelsea under Roman when he first arrived was...insane. It doesn't compare to anything that came before it. It was considered an absolute watershed for a reason.

3) The money spent by City after Mansour might seem somewhat less insane (depending) - but then the precedent had already been set (for extreme spending on players - which is what we're talking about here more than anything).

4) United are extremely rich and have been so - compared to 99% of English football clubs - for years and years, well before Roman and Mansour. But the idea that we positively used our wealth - directly - to gain the upper hand on our rivals, in a manner comparable to either Chelsea (Roman) or City (Mansour) is unfounded. It falls into the "yeah, but football has always been about money" category - which works as a generic argument, but not in the specific context discussed here.
 

lysglimt

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One month after PL started. BIG DEAL. The point still intact that Liverpool were a big spender and using your comment about how United didnt need to make many signings into PL era same can be said about Liverpool too, they'd had a good squad yet still spending money in big number.
Liverpool did not have a good squad when P.L started - it was very similar to our squad immediately after Ferguson. Several players with good names, but whose best years were behind them. Grobbelaar was 35, Nicol was 31, Wright was 29, Whelan was 31, Stewart was 28, Mølby was 29, Walters was 31, Rosenthal was 29, Barnes was 29 and Rush was 30. The majority of our players were approaching their peak, the majority of Liverpools players were past their peak - there is a big difference
 

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To only look at the Premier League alone gives a wrong picture - because when we entered the 92/93 season - we basically had out entire team in place, so there was no need for us to make a lot of signings. From 86-92 we made the following signings who all started the 92/93 season9

Schmeichel at £550.000 - Irwin at £625.000 - Bruce at £850.000 - Pallister at £2.3m, Ince at £2m, Webb at £1.5m, Phelan at £750.000, Wallace at £1.2m, McClair at £825.000, Kanchelskis at £600.000, Sharpe £175.000, Parker £2m and Dublin £1m

So we started the P.L-season with players signed for £15M
- that was a huge amount of money back then.
So £3.7m of that total was spent on 3 players that played about 10 Premier League games (and only around 3 starts) for United in the 92-93 season?

Liverpool did not have a good squad when P.L started - it was very similar to our squad immediately after Ferguson. Several players with good names, but whose best years were behind them. Grobbelaar was 35, Nicol was 31, Wright was 29, Whelan was 31, Stewart was 28, Mølby was 29, Walters was 31, Rosenthal was 29, Barnes was 29 and Rush was 30. The majority of our players were approaching their peak, the majority of Liverpools players were past their peak - there is a big difference

If you look from 86 onwards then by your own logic it would probably also give the wrong picture as the United squad was in a bad state and needed rebuilding.

So how far do you go back to get the right picture, the late 1800's?
 
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terraloo

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As someone who kind of does this for a living, I have no idea where this logic comes from. Let's say Roman has put in c. $2bn into Chelsea, maybe its a few hundred million here or there, but what's that between billionaires.

Let's say I'm an entity with some capital, let's say for simplicity I have $2bn to play with, and I'd like to invest in such a way as to make good returns. Say 5% which I could probably get through various financial instruments. That's $100m of pure returns each year.

Chelsea Football Club has managed to come close to that exactly once in its history. When exceptional player sales managed it. Operating profits - the bit that is most like a 'normal' business are huge losses. According to Swiss Ramble, averaging over $60m loss each year over the last 10 years (2011-2020).

And Chelsea is only able to generate the onfield success and therefore revenue it does because Abramovich subsidises it. If it had to stand on its own to two feet as a going concern, it could not afford to buy Pulisic, Ziyech, Havertz etc and then be talking about Haaland. It would not have been able to buy Hazard - the only reason its ever been able to post decent profits.

There's some weird fallacy with the sugar-daddy clubs where fans justify the owners 'investment' due to the appreciation of the asset. But a PSG, or City or Chelsea is only worth these valuations because its owners are losing money on it. None of these clubs can support the level of spend they've been doing. No club in world football can. Look at Barcelona, or Madrid.

And it's not a go at Chelsea in particular - I posted very similarly about who could buy United. The fact is that football clubs today are not a good investment. You'd be better any number of financial instruments or other hedging products.

United was an excellent investment by the Glazers because they paid exaclty zero dollars for it. Therefore $20m a year of dividends is wonderful. But if someone had to pony up our 'market value' of c. $3bn for it, they'd want returns that no football club can deliver.

And so, we arrive at today, where the only clubs 'succeeding' are those that can lose money over the long term. The whole model is built on requiring outrageously rich people to subsidise the entire industry for kicks/sportswashing. It's stupid.
See here’s where your logic is based on pure business as opposed to the warped logic and ego that some football club owners have And for sure that for sure that doesn’t apply to Man Utds owners.

RA like the owners at Man City, PSG and no doubt some other clubs aren’t looking for an annual return on their investment they aren’t in it for that.

The point I was trying to make is if you add up every £ he has put into Chelsea it is below the current Forbes valuation. Now finding a buyer may not be so easy but if he were to sell he would certainly come out of it ahead.
 

Beachryan

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See here’s where your logic is based on pure business as opposed to the warped logic and ego that some football club owners have And for sure that for sure that doesn’t apply to Man Utds owners.

RA like the owners at Man City, PSG and no doubt some other clubs aren’t looking for an annual return on their investment they aren’t in it for that.

The point I was trying to make is if you add up every £ he has put into Chelsea it is below the current Forbes valuation. Now finding a buyer may not be so easy but if he were to sell he would certainly come out of it ahead.
1. I totally agree, Roman does not treat Chelsea FC like a business. It is there as a hobby, or fun thing to amuse him.
2. That last sentence pretty much contradicts itself, and that you end with it suggests my post didn't get through.