Almost $1B Spent in 12 Months at Chelsea: Should They Be Expected to Win the Title This Season?

Aron Wright - August 22, 2023

Chelsea is one of the world’s biggest football clubs. With a huge supporter base both domestically and abroad and a star-studded team packed with international talent, the club should be, on paper, competing for every trophy there is.

The reality, however, is very different. Chelsea have spent an eye-watering sum of money over the past 12 months, with very little if anything to show for it. In this article, we take a look at what Chelsea have spent and what they have spent it on, before discussing whether they should be pushing for the title this season.

Chelsea’s Spending Spree

As one of the biggest clubs in London, playing in the most cash-rich football leagues in the world, it’s no surprise that Chelsea have money to spend. However, the scale of their spending over the past year has been staggering, even by the English Premier League’s standards.

In 2022, Chelsea was taken over by US business Todd Boehly, who was backed by the equity firm Clearlake Capital. Since then, it’s seemed like Chelsea has had access to near-unlimited funds, spending close to £1 billion on players over the past 12 months.

This is a staggering figure, made even more shocking by the fact Chelsea finished in 11th place in the 2022/23 season, representing their lowest finish in nearly 10 years.

What Has Chelsea Spent the Money on?

The money in football today is unlike anything we’ve seen previously. However, even in today’s financially bloated market landscape, a player spend of over £900 million seems more than excessive.

Chelsea is one of the world’s best supported and most supported clubs, with fans all over the world, all of whom demand success. Whether it’s supporters clubs in the US or sports betting in South Africa, the club is highly influential and must repay the dedication of fans with on-pitch success.

In Boehly’s eyes, it would seem that means getting the most expensive players he can, regardless of how they might help the team. This summer alone Chelsea has brought in Moises Caciedo, Christopher Nkunku, Nicolas Jackson, Axel Disasi, and Robert Sanchez, for a combined total of £224 million. Last summer, the Blues brought in Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, and Raheem Sterling for £80.4 million, £63.3 million, and £53.2 million respectively. They also paid £38 million for Kalidou Koulibaly, and paid nearly £40 million for Chukwuemeka, Aubameyang, and Slonina.

That’s not to mention the club’s transfers in the January window. During the 2023 winter break, Chelsea spent £107 million on Enzo Fernandez, £88 million on Mykhaylo Mudryk, £35 million on Benoit Badiashile, £26.3 million on Malo Gusto, and £26 million on Noni Madueke.

Money Doesn’t Equal Success

Money talks in football. You only have to look at European powerhouses of old who have fallen by the wayside as they have been dwarfed by the spending power of the English league.

However, as Chelsea have so perfectly demonstrated, throwing money at a problem is not an effective strategy. Despite this huge expenditure, Chelsea recorded one of their worst league campaigns in recent memory. They went through no less than four managers, always a sign of a club in freefall.

In the 2022/23 season, Chelsea won just 11 games out of 38 played. They drew another 11 and lost 16, an incredibly poor run of results that had supporters up in arms and calling for change at the highest level.

Should Chelsea Be Pushing for the Title This Year?

With the 2023/24 Premier League season underway, Chelsea should be pushing for a top-three finish at least, if not the title itself. Fans will expect nothing less, and with a player spend of nearly £1 billion, the club should, in theory, be strong contenders.

Chelsea kicked off the season by facing Liverpool at home at Stamford Bridge. Not the easiest opening-day fixture, but one that future champions should have been able to navigate. The game ended in a 1 – 1 draw, not the worst result by any means.

Under the stewardship of new manager Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea put in a more measured and mature performance that fans had come to expect after the disastrous events of the last 12 months. Crucially, it was new signing Disasi who scored the equaliser and salvaged a point, perhaps evidence that Chelsea’s wild spending hasn’t been in vain.


There’s no doubt that Chelsea has a team packed with talent. Not only that, but they now also have a world-class manager in Pochettino. The Premier League is notoriously competitive, but Chelsea certainly have all the tools they need to push for the title this season.