LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on February 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
This isn't going to be what you think. It really isn't. This has nothing to do with this season's Champions League, and everything to do with the ongoing roster transformation previously dubbed "the project". While AVB is no longer the man overseeing the injection of talented young players to phase out the "old guard" at Stamford Bridge, I don't think anyone truly expects us to deviate from that course this summer. The reasons we may just owe the two Spanish giants a big thank you is strictly financial, and with the ever increasing Champions League TV money that we're earning, it's appearing that we may have even more money to stretch this summer.
For those of you unaware, most of La Liga is in a pretty dire financial hole at the moment. Television money in Spain is not shared throughout the league like it is in Germany or England (and more recently Italy), individual clubs negotiate their own contracts there. This leads to a very unbalanced distribution of funds. While Barcelona and Real Madrid will earn exponentially greater amounts of money than the top clubs in England, clubs like Bilbao and Malaga earn exponentially less than whomever finishes last in the Premier League. With smaller Spanish clubs struggling to even find basic sponsorship now, this has led to real questions about the competitive future of La Liga.
Those questions became a bit more serious today. Spanish clubs owe some 750 million Euros to the Spanish government in unpaid taxes as well as some 600 million Euros to the Spanish social security system. How the Spanish government deals with this is of little concern to myself personally, but I can certainly understand why many other countries were a bit peeved that the Spanish government was considering waiving that debt even when they wee receiving bailouts from the rest of Europe. Those governments can breathe easier now though, as the Spanish government has come up with a plan for clubs to pay off their tax debts.
The only angle I'm going to get into here is the Chelsea angle, as that's likely all we really need to focus on at WAGNH. This is good news. There are several reasons this made me smile today, and I'm going to highlight them below:
- A looming 35% drop in TV revenues combined with reduced sponsorship revenue is going to require clubs to make up the difference somewhere. Player sales would seem the obvious avenue to explore.
- Chelsea have a need for technically gifted young talent. There is a lot of technically gifted young talent in Spain playing at clubs in loads of financial trouble. When clubs have to sell, they can't squeeze every last penny out of potential buyers.
- La Liga is still a quality league. Less dollars to spend in the transfer market may lead to teams taking our players on loan. This is a great opportunity to test our youth at a very high level as well as getting positive things about our club out to other players from the smaller clubs in La Liga.
- Barcelona and Real are going to eventually have to give up some of their money to the rest of Spain or face going the route of Rangers. This is just another kick in that direction.
- I really like Javi Martinez. Maybe that doesn't deserve a bullet point, but I really like Javi Martinez.
We'll see if these things happen as early as this summer, but they will certainly be trends to watch for. For those of you who read moneyball, this certainly has the potential to create one of those market inefficiencies that were so crucial to the A's staying competitive. Buying from Spain may be a great way to go bargain hunting real soon, and there are definitely some players we could use plying their trade at the types of clubs we should be targeting. While this is just some random thoughts on my part, it's still definitely food for thought.