PFA chairman says Chelsea’s transfer policy amounts to “warehousing” players

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Chelsea’s recent transfer dealings have been called into question by Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Gordon Taylor after the Blues loaned out 33 players to 26 different clubs across Europe during the recently-completed summer transfer window.

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More than $150 million worth of players (transfer fees paid by Chelsea to acquire the players) were loaned out by the reigning Premier League champions, and Taylor says it’s not only a questionable business practice for Chelsea, but also having too much of an impact on too many different competitions across the continent.

Taylor so far as to say Chelsea’s recent transfer policy amounts to “warehousing of players,” given the way they buy an unprecedented number of players, only to loan them out to various clubs season after season.

Taylor, on Chelsea’s transfer policy, from Goal.com:

“It’s a bit of a worry with so many Chelsea players out on loan. It’s almost a warehousing of players. You wonder whether it brings into question the integrity of the various competitions.”

“But then there are players at these clubs in Europe who are denied the chance because others are coming in with their parent clubs paying their wages. It makes that option more ­attractive.

“So then it is not about the best team winning a ­particular competition, it is about who has the best ­relationship with the biggest clubs.

“It’s not so much something that we’ve been alerted to. It’s something that you can’t fail to notice because it has been such a phenomenal number of players out there.”

The folks running the show at Chelsea are unlikely to be fazed by Taylor’s comments, for a number of reasons. For starters, let’s consider how much money they’ve made by simply buying players at a young age, playing them sparingly or not at all, loaning them out to great success and selling them for more than they paid themselves. Kevin De Bruyne, anyone? Chelsea paid $10 million in January 2012 and sold him to Wolfsburg (after a loan stint at the club) for $27 million two years later.

There’s also Mohamed Salah, for whom Chelsea paid not even $17 million in January 2015. Following a successful loan spell to Fiorentina last season and another deployment to Roma, the Egyptian will likely fetch the Blues $25 million or more next summer. Of course, Chelsea do run the risk of poor investments that don’t return any profit and often times result in a loss — Juan Cuadrado ($35 million last January), Marko Marin ($9 million) and Victor Moses ($14 million) immediately come to mind.

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Taylor’s biggest (and most valid) point, though, is that Chelsea’s farming out of players could — and perhaps already has done so — lead to other clubs relying more on acquiring Chelsea’s best recyclables than focusing on developing and bringing through their own young players.

For instance, if I’m an 18-year-old rising star at Vitesse, the Dutch club who took five Chelsea players on loan this summer, I’m heading straight for the exit door and searching for a club willing to play its own players. In the long run, that’s best-case scenario for nobody but Chelsea.