According to Jose Mourinho, it was Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules that prevented Chelsea from signing a world class striker like Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani this past summer.
The Premier League leaders eventually signed Samuel Eto’o from Anzhi Makhachkala in August, having failed with a high-profile attempt to sign Wayne Rooney after Manchester United.
But earlier in the summer both Falcao and Cavani were available but Mourinho says that UEFA’s financial restrictions, designed to prevent overspending, had ended the Blues’ interest in the strikers.
Asked if financial fair play was to blame, he said:
“Correct — because of transfer fees and salaries. Players are not just about transfer fees, but big wages. Of course there’s a certain profile of player we don’t go near.”
Not sure if I buy Mourinho’s comments. Would their really have been that much of a difference between what Falcao and Cavani got from Monaco and PSG respectively and what Chelsea were willing to pay Rooney to move to London? I don’t think so.
One person who takes Mourinho’s sudden poverty turn with more than a grain of salt is Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini who said recently about Chelsea:
“This is the team that spends most money in the last 10 years, it is the team that spends most money this year and the team that spends the most money in the transfer window so [it is] little but rich.”
Mourinho, never one to let an opponent get in the last word, pointed to the fact Chelsea also sold Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne for significant profits last month.
He said: “I don’t have to repeat myself a lot, but everybody knows what Manchester City are. What I would like to say is that, for example, Pellegrini was talking about the money we’ve spent.
“I think he’s a fantastic coach, and I respect that a lot, and on top of that, outside his football career, he’s an engineer by qualification. I don’t think an engineer needs a calculator to do Mata 37 million pounds and De Bruyne 18 million pounds, so that’s 55 million pounds. Matic is 21 million pounds and Salah is 11 million pounds. That’s 32 million pounds, and 55 minus 32 is 23 — so Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated 23 million pounds.
“It’s easy to understand that this is working with financial fair play — ‘fair’ financial fair play. There are no arguments against that. This is what we’re doing. Others aren’t doing the same. We are building a team for the next decade, if possible. [City] have a team to win now because they don’t have a team for 10 years. They have a team for now, for the next three or four. So experience, potential, power, not worried about financial fair play because, in the summer, they just spend.
“We don’t need a calculator for this. It’s easy: plus 23 [million pounds].”