One of the current restrictions imposed on Chelsea Football Club by the ever wise UK government is the inability to SPEND money on things like travel, matchday expenses, casual workers or new contracts and transfers (some restricted, some completely cut off). The sanctions which are supposedly designed to ensure that there is no more money in Roman Abramovich’s pockets have not only put a loss-making operation like Chelsea in a semi-frozen state, but have also prevented said loss-making operation from spend MORE money! The logic is absolutely baffling, not that we should expect much logical thinking in politics.
Some have equated (relevant parts of) this with a transfer ban, but that is understating the situation. Not only can we not register new players (which is ultimately a transfer ban), but we cannot sign new players, we cannot sell current players nor can we offer new contracts. . Some of this seems borderline illegal under labor laws (EU or not) – i.e. contracted players literally have no way to leave – but the impact the more immediate is the part about new contracts, especially when it comes to the likes of Antonio Rüdiger, César Azpilicueta and, to a lesser extent, Andreas Christensen.
While Christensen is practically ready for Barcelona and Azpilicueta seems happy enough to only make his decision at the end of the season, we have worked for a large part of the season to secure an agreement for Rüdiger. And it seems that we were close, before the said sanctions were put in place.
According to Christian Falk’s truth counter, Chelsea had agreed personal terms with the 29-year-old on a new contract, and were only parted over the signing bonus. While that doesn’t necessarily mean he was ready to sign on the dotted line, the personal terms agreement is an important development, as wages have been the biggest issue in these negotiations all year.
Hopefully the ownership situation resolves itself (and/or the license is amended by the government) in time for this contract to be in place before the current one expires…