This could be the end of Chelsea as one of Europe’s super clubs

Abramovich’s vision for Chelsea was truly top-down and, while the thirst for bringing in the best young players might deviate from the rules, the academy’s training environment set new standards. Winning the FA Youth Cup in consecutive seasons between 2014 and 2018, Chelsea scored 29 goals in their five home and away finals.

Players such as Reece James, Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have come to symbolize a progressive revolution in English football coaching and, with such intense competition for first-team places, the influence extends far beyond the beyond Chelsea. Southampton’s rise this season is largely down to Tino Livramento and Armando Broja.

Dominic Solanke is spearheading Bournemouth’s return to the Premier League. Conor Gallagher is thriving at Crystal Palace. The list continues.

Add to that how Chelsea have set new standards in women’s football and, while most attention will be on what a change of ownership means for the men’s first team, big questions now arise at a club. which has been transformed at all levels over the past two years.

A new era of regulation

A final irony is that, just as Abramovich is leaving the club that has come to embody the Old West caricature of English football, the specter of legislation and a strict regulatory framework has never loomed any further.

The Tracey Crouch fan-led review last year argued for an independent regulator that would not only rebalance football’s finances but also install new ownership controls and form a bloc for competitions such as the European Super League , who Chelsea signed last year before stepping down. .

Abramovich may not have been the driving force behind this change but, just as when Financial Fair Play was introduced by UEFA, the influence of his purchasing power was of great indirect importance.

The gap between the top of the Premier League and the rest of the English football pyramid has never been greater, but the very contrast with Europe’s big clubs has also become stark. Ivan Gazidis, the general manager of AC Milan, simply says that the Premier League is now the Super League.

This is the central explanation for Italian and Spanish clubs who want to create something different. And, while the rise of the Premier League has not been fueled simply by Abramovich, his arrival has supercharged an ecosystem in a way that has brought English football closer to regulation than ever before.

Mary I. Bruner