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Zakharyan is wanted by the “younger brother” of Chelsea from France. Multiclub system: a new way to reach the Premier League

Date: September 26, 2023 Time: 08:19:51

Arsen Zakharyan didn’t go to Chelsea, but he may still end up in England one day. For him, the path to the London club now runs through Strasbourg. Interest in Arsene has already been confirmed by a club scout and, according to our information, Erling Haaland’s agent Rafaela Pimenta, who oversaw negotiations with Chelsea a year ago, is in talks. She and she now she works for the London club.

Why did Zakharyan attract Chelsea’s attention?


“Zakharyan fits perfectly into Chelsea’s strategy. Interview with a journalist close to the club

The connection is very simple: the BlueCo holding company, which owns Chelsea, recently acquired a majority stake in Strasbourg. This deal was the first step towards the multi-club model that Todd Bowley is so inspired by.

The American admires City and Red Bull. He wants to expand his influence.

One of the main advantages of the multi-club model is the ability to centrally manage and share knowledge within a group of clubs. This applies to both operational and football work: clubs in a system can effectively manage player development within portfolio teams, bypassing traditional transfer market mechanisms. The main thing this model provides is synergy at all levels, allowing you to gain a competitive advantage in a number of ways: shared costs, cost efficiencies, and unified marketing that builds and strengthens brand strength.

In fact, there are many benefits, but for British clubs there is one important thing: the multi-club model for them is a way to minimize the consequences of Brexit, as a result of which EU players became foreign players. Those players who do not get the chance to practice first-team matches leave for system clubs in other leagues, after which they have a better chance of getting Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) approval for a work visa. At the same time, the players of the best championships receive more points.

All about the multi-club systems of European football

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Speaking last fall at the SALT conference, Bowley said he was considering building an empire of multiple clubs like City Football Group and Red Bull: “There are different countries where having a club has its advantages. Red Bull is doing very well against Leipzig and Salzburg, who are in the Champions League because they figured out how to do it. There is Manchester City, which has a very large network of clubs.

The main idea of ​​restructuring the business model in favor of a multi-club one is to reduce losses. Bowley is not only up to the CFG: in the Premier League, Manchester City is the only one who is not in debt. In addition, a wide network of sub-clubs allows you to spread the brand, thus increasing its value.

Bowley’s position is fundamentally different from Abramovich’s. The Russian billionaire has always emphasized: Chelsea for him is not about business and money, but about passion. For the American, Chelsea is a great long-term investment project.

“I think the problem Chelsea have at the moment is that we have 18, 19, 20-year-old superstars. We can loan them out to other clubs, but it turns out we’re leaving their development in the wrong hands, Bowley said. “Our goal is to make sure we can show our young talents the path to Chelsea by providing real playing time elsewhere. In my opinion, the way to do it is through another club somewhere in a really competitive European league.”

Todd Bowley

Photo: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

For Chelsea, the “gift the student – take away – stay / sell” model is not new: from 2009 to 2021, the Londoners signed 29 lease contracts with the Dutchman Vitesse. During this time no one has officially recognized the connection of the clubs, but it has been said more than once that Abramovich finances Vitesse. This year, The Guardian found that through various foreign-registered shell companies, Abramovich sent around €117 million for the secret acquisition of Vitesse. In contrast to this scheme, under Bowley, the membership club was formalized: according to The Guardian , 100% of the shares cost BlueCo a total of 75 million euros.

Oif and Abramovich, Vitesse and Chelsea: how friends beneficially cooperated

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Bowley decided on the country where he would buy the club back in the winter. Several options failed

Todd considered various clubs in France, Belgium, Portugal and South America, but last December the American decided that Chelsea’s first little brother would remain from France. We negotiated with Bordeaux, but the analysis showed that the purchase of Strasbourg is more financially attractive. In addition, it was not possible to agree on a favorable price with the president of Bordeaux, Gerard López. In Strasbourg’s case, the share price depended on whether the club remained in Ligue 1 (the team finished 15th).

One of the factors why in the end everything went well with this club is the friendly relationship between Chelsea sporting director Lawrence Stewart and Strasbourg president Mark Keller: they knew each other from their work in Ligue 1. There were 11 shareholders in Strasbourg, and Keller’s 27% stake was the largest share, which helped in the end.

Initially, Strasbourg was ready to sell just a minority stake, but BlueCo has made it clear that it wants to buy the entire package, emphasizing that the French club will be a sister company, not a subsidiary. To do this, Bowley promised: Keller will continue as president, because he is committed to the club and has done a lot for it. The shareholders ultimately decided to take BlueCo outright because current investors had reached capacity.

mark keller

Photo: Xavier Laine/Getty Images

“We have built a club that is healthy at every level and well run,” Keller said after news of the purchase. “If we want to keep moving Strasbourg forward and project the club into a new dimension, we absolutely need a strong structure that can support our development and our ambitions.”

Strasbourg will make its own decisions, albeit under the regular supervision of BlueCo, because this association also aims to take the French club to a new level.

Strasbourg fans are wary of this story: the club is quite local, with a small budget. They worry that the team will now become a platform for reselling players, which can kill the spirit and desire to fight for each other.

Strasbourg players

Photo: Marcio Machado/Getty Images

So far, there have been no agreements between the clubs. But several are possible in the near future.

Strasbourg’s transfer budget is €25m, so the club can’t afford too much. But with the money from Chelsea, the possibilities widened: Brugge and Ivory Coast defender Abacar Silla has already moved to the team for a record €20+2 million. Payments will be made in two tranches of 10 million euros each this year and next. There is now the option for Montpellier striker Elie Vai to first be in London and then go on loan to France. Chelsea is willing to pay 30 million euros for him. There was also talk of the Brazilian Angelo Gabriel, signed from Santos. But he, according to rumors, liked Pochettino so much that he would stay at Chelsea.

Leslie Ugochukwu, the 19-year-old midfielder who left Rennes for €25m this summer, should also go (on loan) to Strasbourg. But globally, you need to understand that in total Chelsea can only lend to seven people abroad, and more importantly, only three to a club. David Fofana is already in the “Union”, most likely Slonina will go to Belgium. In addition to Ugochukwu. But there are still two free places for loan in Strasbourg.

By the way, about Vai

The best clubs fight for the Montpellier striker. The guy broke Mbappé’s great record!

With Zakharyan they plan to reverse the scheme: first, Arsene will be in Strasbourg, and from there it will be much easier for him to go to Chelsea. Even so, it is impossible to move directly from Moscow to London due to the many restrictions and difficulties caused by the realities of the new times.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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