Paul Merson has warned Chelsea that they could find themselves in a similar situation to Arsenal and Manchester United in the future as their new owners may look to prioritise other projects ahead of them.
A final agreement for the takeover of the club was announced on Saturday. A statement on the club’s website read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and definitive agreement was entered into last night to sell the Club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium. It is expected that the transaction will be completed on Monday. The Club will update further at that time.”
The announcement puts an end to a period of uncertainty in west London that has played on the players’ and fans’ minds for a long while. However, Merson thinks that there could be worrying times ahead for the Blues.
“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.”