Chelsea’s season so far has gone from bad to worse. Sitting at the 10th position in the Premier League table when the January transfer window is in full effect has raised some unexpected problems for its owner Todd Boehly.
But the American businessman has taken note of his investment’s deteriorating performance and decided to be an active participant in the ongoing transfer window.
His first signing to make things better is AS Monaco’s centre-back, Benoit Badiashile.
The 21-year-old French defender has been on the Blues’ radar for a while and his arrival at Stamford Bridge will ease their defensive woes.
Benoit is considered a promising raw talent who needs to be nurtured, but what surprised the fans was not his signing but the duration of his contract.
Boehly has been generous and offered a seven-and-a-half-year contract to the French youngster.
The Blues’ defence has been robbed of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Marcos Alonso in the past year.
The new signings in the defence were inevitable, but handing a long-term contract to a young defender who is completely untested in the realms of English football has only invited criticism.
Boehly looks to be on a mission to make long-term contracts a solid thing at Chelsea.
Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, and Reece James have all signed long-term contracts that will see them at the club for the next six to seven years.
The rationale that it will allow young players to develop and adapt to the English football system is shaky since there is always a downside that they may fail miserably and don’t find a place in the starting XI.
If that happens, the club will have to bear the burden of their wages or ship them off on loan to other clubs. Either way, the club will lose money and the player, their confidence.
It’s clear what Boehly’s agenda is here. He wants to introduce a touch of ‘American-ism’ in English football. In the past, Boehly has openly admitted that he wants to treat new contracts like they do in America.
Baseball is one sport where long-term contracts are handed out to players, but what Boehly fails to recognize is that football is a contact sport and there is a higher probability of injury as compared to baseball.
FIFA, the governing body of world football in its rules and regulations about contracts between professionals and clubs, stipulates that:
‘The minimum length of a contract shall be from its effective date until the end of the season, while the maximum length of a contract shall be five years. Contracts of any other length shall only be permitted if consistent with national laws.’
It’s clear that offering long-term contracts to a young player signals the club’s confidence in him and puts him on a course of steady income for his future but unfortunately, the comfort that money offers the player will eventually lead to his downfall if he’s not careful with his performance.
The player will be stuck since he’s on contract and will see his golden years on the bench.
Chelsea fans and many others are right to voice their concerns about Boehly’s campaign to make long-term contracts a norm in the Premier League.