The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to affect the wider world and sport has not escaped its reach. Russian teams and athletes are facing disqualification from tournaments and competitions and now Chelsea are facing potentially huge ramifications.
Arsenal’s west London rivals are facing the possibility of seeing their club sold in the coming days. Roman Abramovich is willing to listen to offers for Chelsea. Swiss business tycoon Hansjoerg Wyss has claimed that Abramovich has sounded out interest in buying the Blues and as reported by football.london, talks are ongoing between the pair.
There remains much speculation about what this would mean for Chelsea. However, the club’s accounts ending June 2021 showed a loss of £145.6m after tax and that the club owed the Abramovich-controlled parent company Fordstam a staggering £1.514bn.
How does this affect Arsenal? There are a number of ways it could, however, for now, Chelsea will continue onwards with their ambitions for the 2021/22 season.
Arsenal will face Chelsea once more when their Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge is rescheduled. Having lost the League Cup final, Chelsea still have ambitions in the FA Cup and Champions League. Whereas the Gunners are solely focused on achieving a top-four finish.
The top four appears a formality for Chelsea but were Arsenal to win their games in hand and beat the Blues, they would go above them in the table.
Yet, were Abramovich to sell, this season is unlikely to have any bearing on the Gunners’ rivalry with their London opponents.
However, the summer transfer window presents a different story. With no guarantee that a buyer of Chelsea would run the club in the same manner as Abramovich, there is a likelihood that the financial capacity in the market would be significantly hindered.
Reports have indicated that Chelsea would not be able to spend to the same extent without the Russian’s continual investment. The owner’s backing has been what has enabled the club to act ruthlessly at the upper echelons of the market to sign the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner among others.
football.london understands that Arsenal are preparing for a significant outlay in the summer backed by owner Stan Kroenke. With this in mind, the Gunners could outstrip a restricted Chelsea for a number of targets.
Jonathan David has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea as has Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans. Arsenal’s stability would certainly enable them a greater assuredness in negotiations this summer.
Finally, there is the long-term stability and expectations of Arsenal in comparison to Chelsea to consider. There has been much emphasis at the north London club about the project spearheaded by Mikel Arteta.
Board director and son of owner Stan Kroenke, Josh, has spoken recently about emulating the famous Invincibles side that went unbeaten in 2003/04 and won the Premier League title.
There is a united vision about where the club wants to go whereas the same can no longer be said for Chelsea. The current European champions have won more trophies than any other English side since Abramovich bought the club in 2003 but the landscape is changing.
This ambition to continue winning and strengthening has enabled the club to convince the world’s top players to ignore the club’s previous lack of comparable stature to the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United and join to both win big and earn big.
Should that no longer exist, the clubs around them such as Arsenal could quickly replace them. Uncertainty for Chelsea is a positive for Arsenal and there is no doubt that the Gunners will be hoping for their 21st-century rivals to face a lengthy period of instability and continued questions over what their future may hold.
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