The days in which Chelsea would seemingly ‘buy titles’ in wild spending sprees are now long gone. The club is now run like a business seeking profit and squad balance.
Their policy has been to match every signing by selling a player in his position, usually for more money than the incoming man extraordinarily.
In the summer out went David Luiz to PSG for £50m, Romelu Lukaku to Everton for £27m and Demba Ba to Besitkas for £15m. Coming to a total of £92m gained.
In came Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis for a combined £79m. Out went three squad players, who were yet to impress at the club and in came three world class players who would improve the side drastically. And there was a £13m profit.
No one joins without somebody else leaving first and the club is evolving at last into a quick, ruthless and highly profitable business. Last year the club reported an annual profit for the first time in owner Roman Abramovich’s reign.
The induction of Financial Fair Play has no doubt forced this change for the better and the west London side quickly worked out they would be one of the first to experience the full wrath of the new regulations. This after having spent huge sums of money to gain success in the first place.
Everything falling into place
Last week's transfer deadline acted as another example of Chelsea’s new policy. Out went Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg for a fee of up to £24m and in came replacement Juan Cuadrado shortly after for a fee believed to be in the region of £23m.
The Colombian will most probably prove to be an upgrade on the World Cup winner and could have even come at another profit.
It would appear that everything has fallen perfectly into place for Chelsea. They were able to enjoy immediately strong investment after the arrival of Abramovich, without FFP a factor at the time.
The Blues were allowed to become a formidable force in a way that any side in a similar position now may struggle to. They enjoyed success previously unparalleled in the club’s history and now having assembled a star studded squad, are big players in the transfer market in terms of both incomings and outgoings.
Their business strategy has worked superbly and it will prove frustrating to their rivals as Chelsea cherry-pick the best players and sell them on should a better talent become available.
Times are changing at the Bridge and Jose Mourinho has already promised to give more opportunities to members of the academy. For all their critics, Chelsea's is a strategy many would want.
What’s more, unlike Arsenal, they are a well run club who are also managing to improve their team, whilst gaining large success both on and off the pitch. Long gone are the days of reckless spending, Chelsea have been one of the first clubs to find a way to work within the UEFA fair play rules.
Is there any hope for other teams now that Chelsea seem to have cracked FFP?