Former Arsenal and England midfielder Paul Merson believes Chelsea could find themselves in a similar situation to Manchester United, tipping them to play second fiddle in the interests of their new American owner.
Chelsea, following weeks of speculation and uncertainty, are on the verge of being taken over by American businessman Todd Boehly’s US consortium. It was confirmed on Saturday morning that a definitive agreement had been entered on Friday night for Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium to complete the takeover.
It brings an official end to the Roman Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge, meaning all eyes will be fixed on the London club this summer to see what happens in the transfer window. However, former Arsenal ace Merson believes the new owners will not invest anywhere close to the amount Abramovich did, claiming that the LA Dodgers will remain Boehly’s top priority.
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And that is why Merson believes Chelsea could find themselves in a similar position to United and Arsenal as far as the new owners are concerned. The Glazer family, who own United, continue to enjoy success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but success has been hard to come by at Old Trafford.
“Chelsea risk ending up like Arsenal unless their new American owners buck a worrying trend,” Merson wrote in his Daily Star column. “It’s a relief for everyone at Stamford Bridge that Todd Boehly’s takeover has gone through and they can finally sign players again.
“But Chelsea is just a toy for them to play with. Look at all the other American owners in the Premier League – their US sports teams all do better than the teams they own over here. Look at Stan Kroenke at Arsenal.
“Why are the LA Rams winning the Super Bowl and Arsenal are coming fifth? Because that’s where their priorities are. Look at Manchester United. The Glazers have won the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But how long is it now since United challenged for the title?
“Chelsea’s new owners are not going to invest the sort of money Roman Abramovich did. Those days are over. These Americans are now involved with one of the biggest clubs in the world. These toys don’t come along too often – and I call it a toy because it is really, to these people.”
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