Nov 29, 2023Liked by Will Reyner

copying this from a twitter thread as im not sure i can link the thread here... but these are exactly what i think about this model too:

"Buy a large amount of promising players at a discount, increase their valuation through by developing them and showcasing them in European leagues, keep the best ones and sell the rest for profit averaged over the full cohort".

The Plan is simple in concept, but doesn't really address potential issues.

* What happens when your young squad doesn't quite get good fast and you miss European football several years in a row?

* What happens when manager doesn't actually want to play these young players?

* What happens when these young players subsequently don't develop due to not being picked by their loan teams and their valuation doesn't go up?

* What happens when some DO develop but want to leave because they want to play European football you're not getting?

* What happens when you can't quite get a profitable market for these players because you paid too much for them and locked out the midtable market from buying them?

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I think the other thing to consider is that the club operated almost under the opposite principles under Abramovich. Talented youngsters were bought almost purely for profit while established players were bought purely for the first team. What we saw happen was the club consistently buy senior players and when they did manage to buy gems like De Bruyne and Salah, there was never the patience nor the space to allow them to develop properly. So over the years, we've seen a lot of younger talent go other places because either first-team pathways or blocked or the player saw a better development future elsewhere.

On the other hand, I think the current ownership has taken the current approach a bit to the extreme. They did need to lower the average age of the squad and by essentially removing most of the senior squad, pathways aren't blocked and young players could see a path to playing. But we also see that there's a lack of experience in the squad when it comes to winning football matches.

I, for one, thought that some sort of change needed to be made in transfer policy, but I didn't think it'd be that extreme. However, if the current ownership would have set out to by established players to win now, I think we'd end up back in the same cycle as we were stuck in under Abramovich.

The only problem right now is that I think the expectations of making it back to the CL this season were a bit too high. I always thought that just getting back to any kind of European football next season would be considered a win and would buy time to make some decisions over the summer to hopefully push on for CL in 2025-2026.

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