It is no surprise to learn that new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has been astonished by the club’s underperformance in the commercial department.
That is the view of finance expert Doctor Dan Plumley, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about how standards seemed to have slipped in the Roman Abramovich.
The Russian oligarch had been in control at Stamford Bridge for almost two decades before he was forced to relinquish his stake in the wake of UK government sanctions relating to his links to Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea became one of the most successful clubs in European football during that time, but they have lagged behind their peers when it comes to commercial performance.
The Daily Mail reported last Friday (9 December) that Boehly has been astonished by the Blues’ lack of sponsorship deals in comparison to their rivals in the so-called ‘Big Six’.
Chelsea have just 15 active partnerships compared Man United’s 48 and Man City’s 42, and their low commercial yield has been underlined in a recent internal review.
Plumley claims that things stagnated under Abramovich’s ownership because of his ownership style.
“I think we can trace this back to the ownership structure,” the Sheffield Hallam University expert told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“Abramovich didn’t really need to court this level of commercial deals. He was underwriting the losses and pumping money in. They owed him about £1bn when all is said and done.
“Man United are the gold standard. That was Ed Woodward’s real area of expertise. The number of commercial partners they have is phenomenal.
“For City, they have seen this as a viable strategy as well. Their commercial prowess has enabled them to catch up to United, but Chelsea just wasn’t operating at that level.