The winter transfer window for the Premier League is just around the corner. If there is something that can be a certainty, it is that Chelsea F.C. will not shy away from spending big bucks yet again.
This week, Todd Boehly has been busy doing what he loves the most and that is spending astounding money on a sportsperson. Maybe this is just a warmup before the transfer window opens for Chelsea on January 1st, 2024.
This week, Boehly’s focus has been on baseball. The American Businessman not only owns Chelsea but also has a 20% ownership in the Los Angeles-based professional baseball team- Los Angeles Dodgers.
Todd recently made a statement purchase for the Los Angeles Dodgers following a mega-money deal with the Japanese baseball superstar- Shohei Ohtani. The deal includes a 10-year contract worth a whopping $700million. This is the largest individual sports deal in the world.
As per reports, Ohtani’s contract includes significant deferrals. Todd Boehly has smartly deferred the payments to lessen the competitive-balance-tax impact. This will allow the Dodgers to build a stronger team around Ohtani and boost their chances of winning the World Series. This deal is the largest in Major League Baseball (MLB) by £239 million and the biggest guaranteed contract in sports so far.
To put things in context, his average annual value of $70 million (£55m) is more than the projected 26-man payrolls of four MLB teams for the forthcoming season. His entire contract value is also worth more than the valuations of six NHL franchises. The deal is a new record in sports exceeding Lionel Messi’s $674 million deal with Barcelona from 2017 to 2021 and Cristiano Ronaldo’s $536 million deal with Al Nassr.
At just 29 years old, Ohtani is arguably one of the greatest baseball players of all time. It is a huge coup for Boehly to add him to the club he owns. Ohtani played 28 miles down the freeway for the Los Angeles Angels this year, hitting the ball out of the park 44 times.
He’s the first player in MLB history to combine pitching and hitting for three straight seasons. His throwing stats, which included 167 strikeouts in 132 innings, also rank alongside the very best. Shohei Ohtani is a two-time unanimous Most Valuable Player (MVP) in MLB as well.
The only concern that remains is his injury issues. He has already undergone surgery twice and is reportedly out of the pitch until 2025. Amongst these speculations, Boehly’s expensive purchase is definitely a gamble. But this risk was apparently not enough to make him back out. The billionaire has attempted a similarly lucrative strategy with Chelsea as well.
Boehly’s purchase has raised concerns among the Chelsea fanbase. It seems the Chelsea fans are eyeing the winter transfer window for some expensive shopping and are sceptical of Boehly’s budget. They have even tagged Ohtani as the “Mbappe of Baseball”.
It’s unclear what this investment could mean for Chelsea moving forward. Considering the past, money is the last thing that Chelsea fans should worry about.
Mauricio Pochettino would surely be rubbing his hands seeing Boehly’s recent purchase. He has publicly expressed the need for a new addition to the team and it looks like he will surely convince Boehly to throw another few million for his football franchise as well.
Todd Boehly and a group of investors bought Chelsea in 2022. The deal was worth around £4.25 billion, making it the most expensive team transaction in professional sports. Since becoming the chairman, Boehly has spent more than £1 billion on transfer and loan fees. He has negotiated deals worth over $100 million to bring in names like Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, and Mykhailo Mudryk to the club.
In three windows, Boehly has added a substantial 29 new players to the squad. However, this strategy has not worked particularly well for the Blues. In the ongoing season, they are struggling in the 12th place in the Premier League.
Blues fans will hope Boehly is prepared to invest in the squad once again next month with Pochettino’s side in need of a clinical striker and some more experience to help lead the team forward. Their focus is set on Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen and they remain optimistic that his hefty price tag won’t be an issue for Boehly.
Ohtani’s addition has made the Dodgers become widespread favourites to win the next World Series. This deal will also help Dodgers elevate its status globally due to Ohtani’s international appeal and marketability. With the transfer window starting next month, Boehly would definitely try to replicate the same with Chelsea as well. Chelsea fans would at least hope so.