Football

Will FFP encourage Chelsea to sell Torres?

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Torres has scored only five goals for Chelsea. (©GettyImages)
Torres has scored only five goals for Chelsea. (©GettyImages).

When Uefa introduce their Financial Fair Play regulations in time for the 2013/14 season, clubs across the continent must prove that they are breaking even, or face sanction from Europe's governing body.

Among the most draconian of measures would be to exclude a club from the Europa League or Champions League, should they fail to fulfil the requirement outlined by Uefa.

To find out whether clubs are running at a loss in the lead up the new regulations being put in place, calculations will be based on financial information provided to Uefa from the reporting periods of 2011/12 and 2012/13.

These new measures are likely to ensure clubs will approach transfer periods more carefully than in previous seasons, and financial clout may no longer hold as much water in the transfer market.

Chelsea are likely to be one of the most notable clubs to be affected by FFP, and the new manager, whoever that may be, may have to face up the reality of not having an endless supply of Roman Abramovich cash to splurge.

Should the Chelsea owner want to appoint the best man possible to succeed Andre Villas-Boas - seemingly either Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho - then he is likely to have to pay significant money to do so.

This, then, could leave the incoming tactician with even less of a transfer kitty, and may be required to move players on in order to raise extra funds.

Since Abramovich seized ownership of the Blues in 2003, the club have been renowned as one to buy - and significantly so - rather than to sell.

But, with the Russian continuing to spend exorbitant sums on installing the most capable person into the Stamford Bridge hotseat, streamlining the playing staff will be the easiest way of steering the club's operating costs out of the red.

Villas-Boas was tasked with shaking up an stagnant side and beginning the process of moving on ageing players with substantial contracts - and Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard could yet leave the club in the summer.

However, Drogba is out of contract at the end of the season and, hence, can leave on a free, while Lampard - aged 33 - is unlikely to command much of a fee.

It could be then that other players with seemingly uncertain futures will also be sold, chief among whom may be £50 million flop Fernando Torres.

The Spaniard has found the net for Chelsea on only five occasions since his record-breaking move to Stamford Bridge from Liverpool in the January of 2011, the last of which came 23 games ago.

Having now featured under three managers during his time with the club - including Roberto di Matteo - that is a wholly unremarkable 1.6 goals over the course of each tactician's tenure.

If the Torres' quite frankly dreadful form is not enough to warrant being axed by Abramovich, then the possibility of recouping a portion of his original transfer fee may be a contributing factor.

Still aged only 27, Torres certainly has time on his side as he bids to recapture his form, and Chelsea may realistically be able to attract offers of around £20 million for his services.

And, should any club approach Abramovich with such a proposal, perhaps he would be best served to sell, not just for the benefit of his club but also for that of the player.

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Fernando Torres
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