Benoit Badiashile’s seven-and-a-half year contract at Chelsea is part of the club’s long-term strategy to invest in youth and provide value around financial fair play, writes CBS reporter Ben Jacobs exclusively for FootballTransfers.
Badiashile joined Chelsea for £35m and has signed until 2030, a move which is very much intentional from owner Todd Boehly, who wants to tie players down for the long-term to provide loyalty and hope value grows over time.
Value isn’t purely about resale, of course, because they’d like Badiashile to succeed at Chelsea and hang on to him, but it could come from a player developing and the deal suddenly representing a more preferable rate on the wage bill.
Of course, if everything goes according to plan, there is the option for the player to say he wants an extension and improved terms but loyalty is built if he succeeds and is integrated as he is young with his best years ahead of him and has a long-term contract.
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In addition, with negotiations over fresh terms unlikely for at least the first half of the contract, Chelsea have a player tied down to a lower wage because they have offered a long-term deal, meaning that, if he reaches his potential, the club suddenly has a bargain on a lower salary for many years.
The broader strategy is around financial fair play to an extent, because a transfer fee and a long-term contract can be divided against the deal’s length, meaning Badiashile’s deal can be spread across seven years and multiple cycles of financial fair play.
Therefore, a long-term contract is a way around financial fair play, a way to get player loyalty and also, potentially a way to get a more beneficial contract for the club as a signing may agree to a smaller wage or a more incentive-driven contract.
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However, this is really about Chelsea starting to show an investment and belief in the talent of younger players and a long-term plan, with a desire to keep prospects at the club through the peaks of their careers.
This was the case with the Reece James’ new deal and it is what Chelsea want to do with a prospective Mason Mount extension, as well as Armando Broja, who signed a long-term contract before unfortunately getting injured for the rest of the season.
Broja, in particular, was linked with a move to West Ham in the summer and it was a very uncertain period because he didn’t know what the plan was for him at Chelsea, but the club reassured him about his pathway by assuring him of his game time, standing in the first-team and that he wouldn’t be sent out on loan, which ultimately changed the striker’s mind about leaving.
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Much like a number of these other players and in contrast to previous situations, the club have managed to persuade the next generation by saying ‘this is how much faith we have in you to the tune of this contract’
Whether the players are very young and a few seasons off, or whether they are young players who can make an immediate impact, it’s the same approach – at least five year’s worth of loyalty, which if the player succeeds and lives up to their billing, will also provide Chelsea with value.