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Chelsea’s recent form shows plan is ‘coming together’, says Todd Boehly

Written by on May 8, 2024

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly says the team’s past two and a half games demonstrate signs of the club’s plan “coming together” as head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s future continues to attract scrutiny.

Chelsea remain in seventh place in the Premier League table amid another testing season, after finishing the first full campaign under the stewardship of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Boehly and the private equity firm Clearlake Capital in 12th position last year.

Pochettino’s relationship with the club’s ownership and sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Lawrence Stewart has been under the microscope in recent months, with the Argentine suggesting contact with the owners has been limited. In response to questions regarding his relationship with Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, Pochettino said last month: “That’s a good question for them if you have the opportunity to ask them. But it’s not a subjective idea of us (that we have problems) — it is the reality.”

The coach’s position will be reviewed at the end of the campaign but he may take some optimism from public comments made by Boehly during a Sportico conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Pochettino’s initial contract, signed last summer, was a two-year agreement with the option of a one-year extension.

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Boehly, who was not asked about the head coach during his interview, said: “We’ve seen the last two and a half games, at least in the second half at Aston Villa (2-2 draw) and Tottenham (2-0 win) and West Ham (5-0 win) where we played just beautiful football.

“It was so fluid, it was exactly the way we drew it up, when we came out of the back, built up and we moved up the pitch, very organised and the number of shots we had on board. In those two and a half games, you could really start to see what we were working on coming together.

“Even the commentary has changed over the last two and a half games. I’ve never seen anything change so quickly.”

Chelsea beat West Ham 5-0 in their last game (Henry Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images)


Chelsea beat West Ham 5-0 in their last game (Henry Nicholls/AFP via Getty Images)

Boehly was speaking during a one-on-one session in West Hollywood. He was asked why he decided to invest into Premier League football, having previously acquired the L.A. Dodgers baseball team.

“There’s no bigger sport in the world,” Boehly said. “When you think about just the size and scale of European football, it’s just mind-numbing and there’s no better league in the world in the Premier League. If you look at how these guys play, the speed with which they play the game. One of my players who I had a great relationship with is Kalidou Koulibaly. Koulibaly came over from Serie A (where he played for Napoli) and he told me one time, ‘In Serie A, I get to think and then run but in the Premier League, I have to run while I think, and I’m still adjusting to that’.”

Boehly also said that he was supportive of new proposals within the Premier League to add a hard spending cap to the new “squad cost” rules that are being introduced for the 2025-26 season.

Based on the concept of “anchoring”, the de facto salary cap would limit the amount of money any club can invest in their squads by tying it to a multiple of what the lowest earners get from the league’s centralised broadcast and commercial deals. It will be formally voted on in a meeting at the Premier League’s annual general meeting in June. Chelsea abstained from the initial proposals in a meeting last week but Boehly indicated his support on stage on Wednesday.

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“We’re supportive of anything that adds to the competitive nature of the sport,” he said. “The reason the Premier League is doing so well is because it is so competitive and everyone wants to watch it and no one knows how the games are gonna happen. If you look around at what’s going on right now in different European leagues, some of them are having a hard time getting their media (rights). I think the competitiveness that you’re going to continue to see and evolve as the sport evolves is just going be good for the Premier League.”

Chelsea have spent almost £1bn under Boehly-Clearlake (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


Chelsea have spent almost £1bn under Boehly-Clearlake (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Boehly was also asked how the Premier League can continue to boost its popularity in the United States, where the television deal with NBC was worth $2.7billion for the six seasons leading up to 2028, and where record Premier League television audiences have been recorded on six occasions in the past sixteen months.

“You have to make it relevant to them (young people),” Boehly said. “And I think that the sport is becoming more and more relevant. The window that they have on the east coast in particular Saturday morning and Sunday morning — where there’s nothing really that competes with other sports — really gives it a great opportunity to reach.

“The fan fests that the Premier League do from city to city, you see them, it only builds momentum. Hopefully, (Chelsea midfielder) Cole Palmer will become a household name (here) soon. He’s been a phenomenon for us and so we’re thinking hard about how we continue to expand our brand in the United States. That’s ultimately a priority as well.

“One of the things that Premier League clubs have is worldwide marks they can use — we’ve got a global group of players from Argentina to Brazil. Part of the long-range plan will be really to extend the brand as much as possible to build a fan base because ultimately the larger our fan base grows, the more competitive we’ll be able to be because these salary caps are based on revenue.

“In order to compete, you have to have growing revenue. And I think a brand like Chelsea, really allows for that how much of growing that brand, especially globally is predicated on winning. I think that winning is at the top of the things that’s most important. When you’re attracting a new fan, the key is to have something that’s really aspirational.”

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(Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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