‘I said the old regime cost you £100m – they said “MORE”‘: Todd Boehly blames Chelsea’s huge transfer spend on Roman Abramovich’s regime, claims Antonio Rudiger’s intermediary – as he reveals details of chat in owner’s Stamford Bridge box
Chelsea hold the old regime responsible for their huge £270million summer spend, according to claims by a representative of former player Antonio Rudiger, who sat with new owner Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
US tycoon Boehly bought the Premier League side in May for an estimated £4.25billion from previous owner Roman Abramovich, who had been sanctioned by the UK government for his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the country’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
Towards the end of his tenure, Abramovich and former Blues director Marina Granovskaia oversaw several defensive departures, including Rudiger on a free transfer to Real Madrid, leaving the club desperately short of defensive cover.
Chelsea blame the old regime of Roman Abramovich for their huge £270million summer spend, according to Saif Rubie (left), a representative of former Blues star Antonio Rudiger
US tycoon Todd Boehly (centre) bought the Premier League club in May for around £4.25billion
Previous owner Roman Abramovich, had been sanctioned by the UK government for his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the country’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine
This summer, Boehly had to dip his hand into his pocket as Chelsea bought big at the back, buying Leicester’s Wesley Fofana for £70m, Brighton’s Marc Cucurella for £60m, and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly for £35m.
The west London outfit had also sold centre halves Marc Guehi to Crystal Palace for £18m and Fikayo Tomori for £25m to AC Milan, both of whom have impressed away from Stamford Bridge and since been capped by England.
Saif Rubie, an intermediary for Rudiger, insisted Boehly’s new regime told him they blame Abramovich and Granovskaia’s team for letting all those defenders go, necessitating the summer splurge.
He said: ‘The new regime had to come and pick up the pieces of decisions that were made by the old regime.
‘Things like letting the lad (Guehi) go to Crystal Palace, who was also a defender, letting another (Tomori) go for not a lot of money to AC Milan.
Abramovich and former club director Marina Granovskaia (left) let several defenders leave
The most prominent was key player Antonio Rudiger, who joined Real Madrid on a free transfer
The club were forced to spend heavily in defence this summer, signing Wesley Fofana (left) from Leicester for £70m, Marc Cucurella (right) for £60m and Kalidou Koulibaly for £35m
Rubie (left) claims the new regime told him Abramovich and Co cost them ‘more’ than £100m
‘When I spoke to the new regime, I said the old regime cost you £100m. Do you know what they said to me? “More”.’
When asked about Rudiger’s departure, Rubie added: ‘What if I told you Chelsea, and the old regime, basically made next to no effort to keep the player. At the time he was very happy to stay and potentially be the captain of the club.
‘He was offered a contract that was half the amount Romelu Lukaku were earning.’
Last summer’s £97.5m signing Lukaku returned to former club Inter Milan on a season-long loan in June after a disappointing first season back at Chelsea.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have made a mixed start to season, winning three games, drawing once but losing twice, 3-0 against Leeds and 2-1 against Southampton. A controversial VAR decision gave them a narrow win against West Ham on Saturday.