CEBU

Villaflor: Pandemic spending

Footnote

TEN days from now, the spectacle that is the European transfer window finally closes.

Transactions should have ended on Sept. 1, but the window had to be left open due to the pandemic.

Like in other sectors, the leagues and clubs have been losing money due to strict quarantine measures to stave off the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

However, this did not prevent multi-million wheelings and dealings this season.

A Business Insider report says European clubs have spent more than US$2.5 billion combined for players.

This is welcome news for a global sports industry that generates plenty of interest and wealth, and thus support businesses and employment.

Fans and stakeholders would be relieved, but none are happier than the athletes who will find new homes and the prospect of better careers despite these difficult times.

The biggest spenders right now are Chelsea FC, which have shelled out over $250 million on six new players, including Germans Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech and Nice’s Malang Sarr.

The Blues paid a mind-numbing $105 million to Bayer Leverkusen for Havertz, while it forked over $62 million to RB Leipzig for Werner and $51 millon to Ajax for Ziyech.

With such an insane amount of money spent, expectations are high for Chelsea this season, which unfortunately didn’t start out too well for The Blues.

In their Premier League opening match, Chelsea won 3-1 away to Brighton, but then lost 2-0 at home to defending champions Liverpool on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard must have the toughest job in football right now.


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