Todd Boehly says that he and his ownership team have learned a lot about the global impact football has on the world as he prepares for a long-term project at Chelsea.
Arriving at Chelsea with no experience in the British footballing landscape, it was always going to be a shock to the system for Todd Boehly walking into a club that had witnessed such a high level of success over the past 19 years and so far it has been a rough ride for both him and the rest of his Clearlake Capital Group.
Since his arrival, the Blues have had four different faces in the Stamford Bridge dugout, achieved just 10 league wins, and sit 12th in the Premier League with five games left to play. All of that comes having spent well over £600million on new players across the summer and January.
Combine that with the American billionaire having arguments with fans from the stands after Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Brighton last month and being criticised for his openness to national media before matches, the phrase “a shock to the system” for Boehly could be an understatement.
— Red Rose?? Chelsea First Lady (@Roseangel009) April 15, 2023
Nevertheless, Boehly was always going to take time to adjust to English football, and in an interview with Michael Milken at the Milken Institute Global Conference, the 49-year old admitted that he’s learned a lot about the influence that football has across the world in his first year at Chelsea.
“There is a lot we’ve learned about the different markets, the global aspect of it all. The fans are demanding and they want to win. We get that and we also want to win.
“Our view though is that it is a long-term project and we are committed to that and we truly believe we’re going to figure it out. We have the best league in the world and a club in the best city in the world.”
Stamford Bridge has hosted many special nights over the years for Chelsea
Boehly then compared the European market for players to the USA’s model, saying how impressive it is that every nation has its own pool of talent.
“It’s such a global market. Unlike in the US, there are no unions so there is a market for top players in every country in the world and each one is different.
“You’ve got the Portuguese market, the French market, and the English market. You go to these markets and then you have to build a team and the coach is the conductor of that team.”
Chelsea fans will look at Boehly talking about a long-term project and that the coach is the conductor of the team and question how he can say something like that after sacking two managers in his first season at the club.
For them, Thomas Tuchel was the man having won the club the Champions League and created a special bond with both the players and supporter base, but in the circumstances that surrounded the club at the start of this campaign, his departure was understandable.
His successor Graham Potter was the wrong man at the wrong time both for himself and the club, so Boehly’s certainly not faultless for the decisions he has made in his tenure so far, but mistakes made now are much better than mistakes made two or three years down the line and with Mauricio Pochettino likely to come in as the club’s next manager, there is hope that Chelsea will be back amongst Europe’s elite in no time at all.