Former rival now pundit questions key Chelsea pattern under new ownership

Gary Neville has voiced alarm about Chelsea offering new signings long-term contracts

Manchester United legend Gary Neville appears to have an issue with Chelsea offering their new signings long-term deals that will keep them at Stamford Bridge for years to come.

He has also gone on to term the club’s recent rebuild as a ‘scattergun approach’. In the January transfer window, Chelsea added seven players to their roster namely David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Malo Gusto, Joao Felix (on loan), Mudryk Enzo Fernandez, and Noni Madueke.

Fernandez signed an eight-and-a-half-year contract that runs until June 2031, while Mudryk inked a deal for eight and a half years. Both players look set to see out their prime years in Blue.

Gary Neville has voiced alarm about Chelsea offering new signings long-term contracts.
Sky Sports pundit Garry Neville has questioned Chelsea’s approach to transfers. (Image credit – Getty Images)

With Chelsea spending £288 million in January, surpassing their summer signing of £273 million, these long-term deals have undoubtedly sparked concerns about the club’s vision. After all, should the moves turn sour, we will be left with players who will be under contract long-term.

And Gary Neville immediately questioned on his podcast (h/t Football.London), why the team was offering long-term contracts. The former defender commented:

“I don’t see how it brings any benefit to the club apart from the FFP and the accounting mechanism, the accounting benefit. For me, I’m struggling with it—that the wheel can be reinvented, and they’ve found something really clever here that someone else hasn’t spotted.”

“They could look like the smartest people in the room in two years, or they could look pretty stupid. I don’t know which it will be, but it will be one or the other; it won’t be in the middle. It will be either: What the hell was that? Or they’ve changed the model in English football, and well done to them. We will have to see how this plays out.”

These long-term contracts serve a purpose, and Todd Boehly has discovered a loophole in UEFA financial fair play that prevents them from violating the regulation and giving Chelsea a fair competitive advantage. As long as we are within the rules, there is little reason for Neville’s words to cause doubt.

Gary Neville has voiced alarm about Chelsea offering new signings long-term contracts.
Gary Neville gives his thoughts on Chelsea’s spending (image credit – The Guardian)

However, there will be repercussions, and we might break the FFP regulation if we don’t make the Champions League this year. Having a strong squad does give us a chance to rectify that and hopefully, Graham Potter can get them going in the second half of the season.

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As far as things stand, we conducted honest business in the transfer market, and are ambitious to succeed on all fronts. Neville has little reason to worry about us, after all one wouldn’t bet against him to thrive on our misery.

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