Liverpool may be about to pile more misery on Todd Boehly after 'private jet' meeting

Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images) | IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images

When news emerged that Mauricio Pochettino had departed Chelsea, there was an element of shock.

Had the axe been wielded after the Blues’ defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, there might not have been a massive surprise. Chelsea were beaten by a Reds side who ended the Wembley encounter with three rookies on the pitch - yet they would lift the silverware in the Royal Box. Gary Neville’s moniker of ‘Billion Pound Bottlejobs’ will long be remembered.

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Had Pochettino received his marching orders after a 4-2 home defeat by Wolves or a chastening 5-0 loss to Arsenal, bemused looks may not have been cast. But after the Argentine guided Chelsea to sixth spot in the Premier League, with five successive victories earning European qualification, it is why plenty were caught by surprise on Monday afternoon that he was leaving west London by mutual consent.

Much has been made of the transfer fees that have been spent by Chelsea since Todd Boehly and Clearwater Capital Partners purchased the club from Roman Abramovich two years ago. More than £1 billion has been splashed out on new players, with two British transfer records broken in that time. Yet just days before Pochettino’s exit, Boehly had stressed that Chelsea were playing the long game. He insisted that having stability was imperative for success.

"Winning is clearly the most important thing,” said Boehly, speaking at Bloomberg’s Qatar Economic Forum.

"We're focused on winning. The second thing is having what we think is a really young and exciting team, right? You know, that's going to be around together for a long time because if you look at franchises that dominate for periods of time, it's because they have real stability in the team, front office, and the coaching.

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"To be able to lay the groundwork, you have to be able to start with the stability on the team, by having a young team that has longer than average contracts. The reality is in European football, if you're on a seven-year contract, the way we look at it is really it's a five-year contract, right?

"Because the capitalisation of the transfer value is such that you're never going to let a contract expire down to the last year. You're either going to extend the contract or you're going to figure out what's next for that player. So, when we were looking at that, we're thinking a lot about how do we have stability, how do we have a core?”

It is reported that Pochettino failed to meet pre-season expectations. He becomes the third manager to depart during Boehly’s tenure after Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter. Frank Lampard also had a spell as caretaker at the end of last season.

The search starts again for Chelsea to find the latest incumbent. It’s a familiar feeling to 12 months ago. Perhaps Boehly will have regret that he did not hire another candidate. And watching Liverpool opt for Arne Slot may mean the American rues not being able to land the Dutchman.

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Reports suggest that Slot was in the mix to take the Stamford Bridge driving seat. According to AD, Boehly picked the Dutchman up in a private jet and held talks. Yet discussions proved fruitless as Slot remained at Feyenoord as he also snubbed Tottenham Hotspur.

But a year later, Liverpool were successful in convincing the 45-year-old to leave Rotterdam where he won the Eredivisie title and KNVB Cup. He was deemed as the candidate tasked with an almost impossible job of succeeding Jurgen Klopp. Slot inherits a squad that has finished third in the Premier League and major surgery is not required.

Should Slot make a seamless transition and ensure the Reds continue to challenge for major trophies, he will be deemed as a hit. That is what Klopp managed to achieve during his nine years in the role despite having to compete with Manchester City and other clubs who outspend Liverpool. Slot should be judged in the same way.

And if Chelsea endure another stuttering season, struggling to build momentum and continue to be chided for the oodles of cash they have wasted, Boehly may wonder if he could have done more to have convinced Slot.

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