Will Chelsea follow Todd Boehly's successful blueprint at LA Dodgers?

Todd Boehly’s LA Dodgers have handed out a £297m contract to keep an MVP superstar, poached big name free signings and also focused on bringing through young talent – so, is this the blueprint Chelsea fans can expect after their £4.25bn takeover?

  • Chelsea are set to enter their new era with billionaire Todd Boehly at the helm 
  • The businessman is set to invest heavily, and has enjoyed success at LA Dodgers 
  • At the baseball franchise, he splashed the cash and put an onus on free agents 
  • His efforts transformed the Dodgers, and Blues fans will hope for a similar effect
  • Sportsmail details what supporters may be able to expect when he takes charge 

Welcome to the Premier League, Todd Boehly. He experienced quite the rollercoaster of emotions nestled up in the stands at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Wolves, and there are plenty more days like that to come.

This is what he has committed to, having agreed terms to take over the club. The Blues are in a bit of a rut currently, it would be fair to say, and watching them turn three points into just one will underline the work the board must now begin.

Boehly was an array of emotions, whistling when the goals went in at the right end and slumping with his head in his hands after the last-gasp equaliser. He has the dedication, then, and combines that with an investment of £1.75billion over 10 years. 

But will that war chest stretch far enough? The billionaire’s history in sport suggests so, especially in light of his success at the helm of the LA Dodgers. He may well follow the same blueprint – so here, Sportsmail explains what Chelsea can expect.

Todd Boehly is set to become Chelsea’s new owner and he may follow his blueprint for success

The Blues can look forward to an exciting new era under billionaire businessman Boehly

Summed up in a sentence, the Dodgers have the highest payroll in MLB, the perfect backdrop to on-field success, and are not afraid to go and poach the biggest names. Typically, one superstar will arrive a year, and they also re-sign players to big deals.

In fact, they have three of the top six NL MVP favourites on their roster. 

In March, Freddie Freeman signed a six-year contract with the Dodgers worth $162million (£132m). On paper, they now have the best line-up in baseball, with fellow superstars Mookie Betts and Trea Turner also at the top of their line-up.

The 12-year contract immediately handed to Betts was worth a staggering $365m (£297m), and all three players finished in the top-five NL MVP voting over the past two seasons, underling how far Boehly and Co have gone in search of success.

Boehly was in the stands to watch his new club’s rollercoaster 2-2 draw with Wolves

The LA Dodgers splashed out on Mookie Betts’ 12-year contract worth a huge $365m (£297m)

Notably, however, the Dodgers have also placed a prominence on an effective scouting network and bringing through their own talent. Indeed, their best pitchers were either scouted by the sporting giants or scouted and signed at a young age.

Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw were drafted, while Julio Arias was monitored and then snapped up at 16. This mix of identifying the finest up-and-coming talents and playing out huge fees for established names bodes well for Chelsea.

Ahead of the 2021 season, the Dodgers had paid the highest luxury tax and also spent the most in wages. Last year, their payroll stood at an eye-watering $285million (£212m), the second-highest amount in the history of MLB.

Who does the record belong to, you ask? That was also the Dodgers’ $291m (£217m) salary amount from 2015. However, Chelsea may be forced to dial it in next season.

Boehly has not been afraid to spend heavily on deals in a quest for success in the United States

Boehly has also been criticised. His acquisition of his stake in the Dodgers courted controversy after he spearheaded one of the largest collateralised loan obligation transactions in history, which helped him to wrap up his 20 percent share.

To date, this has amounted over $1billion. Essentially, the businessman took out a loan to buy part of the franchise, while using the Dodgers’ money to pay for it. 

This is unlikely to strike at Stamford Bridge, though, with multiple reports suggesting that Chelsea’s new owners would be prevented from paying dividends or taking managements fees for a decade under a package of strict new measures.

Designed to prevent the same controversies that have damaged Manchester United since the Glazer family’s takeover, the drastic move will help assuage supporters. 

Freddie Freeman also arrived on a six-year contract with the Dodgers worth $162m (£132m)

Boehly (centre) was pictured with Chelsea fans in the early hours of Saturday after his deal 

But regular success is sometimes enough to banish these types of concerns, and that is exactly what the Dodgers have enjoyed under Boehly’s leadership.

Since his consortium took charge almost 10 years ago, they have not missed out on the playoffs. They have also won a World Series and, as outlined earlier, have also been successful in luring across a host of big free agents across the years.

It is important to note that Boehly does not run the Dodgers. Instead, it has been pointed out that his main contribution appears to be negotiating lucrative television contracts for the team, which have enabled them to increase their pulling power. 

His ability to delegate in these situations has been crucial, and he is driven to win. 

But boss Thomas Tuchel may have less to spend this summer with the money tap turned off

Chelsea may be forced to approach this in a different way. That is because sports business analyst Darren Rovell believes the club will spend less on transfers. 

Speaking to The Sun, he has insisted that the new era will be a ‘downgrade’ on the scattergun approach from previous owner, and oligarch, Roman Abramovich.

He said: ‘Boehly is not the billionaire that Roman was so I think if Chelsea fans got used to literally going after everyone and money not being any object – I don’t expect that to be the case with the Boehly team.’

The Blues fanbase can take heart from the fact that their new chief Boehly has a proven track record of making record purchases, and he has been quick to leap to his own defence when critics have accused him of overpaying for his assets.

Roman Abramovich invested over £2billion on transfers alone during his Stamford Bridge spell

The former owner was lauded by the fanbase, before sanctions were imposed on him this year

Boehly’s consortium won the race to replace Abramovich, with Chelsea now playing catch-up

But the steps he has taken have worked. The simple fact is that the Dodgers have doubled in value since he acquired his 20 per cent stake in the franchise.

And one drastic move Boehly may undertake when he officially takes up the reins is turning off the money tap. Indeed, expert Rovell expects spending to slow down.

Rovell added: ‘You got a Russian oligarch who could spend as much as he wanted.

‘I think money is going to be more strained because against the background of what Roman Abramovich could spend, they are not going to be spending as much.’

Those who have kept a keen eye on Boehly describe him as a shrewd operator. He was also a popular choice, one not dogged by past controversy or scandals. 

He has also engaged with the highs and lows of the world of sports ownership, and believes it is ‘humbling’ even the perfect system doesn’t produce success. 

Described as a smooth operator, Boehly will be tasked with bringing more success to the club

In a fascinating interview with Sportico, he was questioned on why he has taken the step. ‘Because it’s intellectually stimulating,’ he replied.

‘I think generally, that’s pretty much a rule. Right? There are no guarantees, and it’s also very humbling when you do everything right and you still don’t win. 

‘There’s a component to it that makes me strive to do better every day. 

‘You start, you figure it out, you put the right people in place, you build the right foundation, and you then let it run.’

Boehly, who tried to buy Chelsea from Abramovich back in 2019, also opened up on instilling the correct ‘culture’ at a team, as well as the importance of winning. 

‘It all starts from the governance and the culture,’ Boehly told Yahoo.

‘Having Earvin Johnson [co-owner of the Dodgers] as our partner, he just pounded in on us all along [that] we have to win. Right, if you’re in LA, you have to win.

In previous interviews, he has opened up on the importance of the right ‘culture’ and winning

The new ownership group said they are keen to lead the way in involvement from supporters

‘Being able to have LA as a market. Get the team together, get the energy going. We did a lot of transactions early on. We made the biggest trade ever with the Boston Red Sox. We wanted to feel passionate about winning.

‘You always have to keep remembering the fans are the centre. And the second that you kind of veer just goes back to, “think about the fans, think about the fans”.’

Boehly’s consortium also insisted they are keen to lead the way in fan involvement.

A Golden Share for supporters would guarantee them a say in the club’s long-term future, and may also be enough to enact positive change at the west London side.

The new owner’s willingness to delegate will likely see him recruit the right people to fill key roles during his tenure, and that could crucially include a football director.

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