Moises Caicedo, American Owners And Chelsea's Ridiculous Overspending

Caicedo is set to join Chelsea for £115m
11:46, 14 Aug 2023

Moises Caicedo is set to join Chelsea for a British record of £115 million, a deal that takes Todd Boehly’s spending at Stamford Bridge to £821m. It’s a gargantuan amount of money, spent over just three transfer windows under the American businessman, who refused to be outbid by Liverpool.

Ultimately, it was Caicedo’s decision to head to Stamford Bridge rather than Anfield, but the bidding war still drove the price up a further £15m. It means Chelsea will be able to field two central midfielders they bought for over £100m apiece if Caicedo partners Enzo Fernandez as expected. 

It has taken Premier League spending to a whole new level, and the US owners are at the centre of this transfer storm. Remember, Boehly bought Chelsea for £4.25bn, making them the most expensive sports team in the world, so £115m to him is like finding a fiver in your jeans pockets. Might as well treat yourself. 


Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool, have been relatively coy when it comes to spending in the past, but this window they’ve had to get their hands in their pockets. Missing out on Champions League football for two consecutive seasons simply isn’t an option, and so they were willing to also break their transfer record for the Ecuadorian midfielder. 

But this transfer inflation is like nothing we have ever seen before. Brighton and Hove Albion only bought Caicedo two years ago for £4m, and he’s made just 45 appearances in the Premier League. They’ve made over £2m of profit for every single appearance he made for them. Midfielders simply shouldn't cost this amount of money. 


Chelsea clearly don’t care about the price, and with careless abandon they are setting fire to everything we thought we knew about transfer fees. They are giving Caicedo an eight-year contract with an option for a ninth year, and the transfer is likely to be amortised over the length of that deal. 

Intriguingly this, combined with their sales to the Saudi Pro League this summer, is how Chelsea are getting around Financial Fair Play regulations. Earlier this summer, UEFA put a new rule in place stating that “clubs will have a maximum of five years to amortise transfer fees in their accounts.”

However, given Chelsea performed so poorly last term, amassing a paltry 44 points in the Premier League, they aren’t in any UEFA competition this term. Therefore, they aren’t breaking any rules - yet. Boehly might look like he is a chaotic owner, but perhaps hiring Frank Lampard and finishing in the bottom half has given the Blues a loophole to exploit when it comes to FFP. 

You would think the Premier League will bring their own rules in line with UEFA, but they’ve acted slowly, and Chelsea have taken full advantage. The £821m they’ve spent in three windows is simply mindblowing. In comparison, Manchester City have spent £716m in the 11 transfer windows since the start of the 2018-19 season, and they’ve basically won the lot during that time. 

Now they have one of the most expensive squads in world football, Chelsea are left with no excuses on the pitch. But the damage they've done to the English game, and the transfer market, is irreversible.

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