The conflicting statements by Romelu Lukaku made before and after signing his United contract made us try and settle the debate.
When observing the Premier League year by year champions ever since its beginnings in 1992, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Manchester United are the absolute standard-bearers of the English top tier. The 13 trophies won over the period of 25 years testify to that and anyone who resonates differently either suffers from an incurable case of biasness or they truly lack basic undestanding in the field of maths.
Still, however big United’s record may be in the past two and a half decades, there’s no doubt that the Red Devils have suffered from an obvious decline that will go down in the club’s recent history as one of the worst periods ever endured. Ever since the great Sir Alex Ferguson left United are suffering even in the relatively mediocre goal to qualify for the top four. In United’s absence from the English elite, other clubs have risen to prominence over the past few years. Liverpool have won a place among the best four English teams last season at the expense of their Manchester rivals, Tottenham went as far as to become regulars in the top four society, while Leicester have even managed to win the league in 2015/16.
After reinstating Mourinho in 2013, following his ventures abroad in Italy and Spain, Chelsea have returned to their winning ways in the Premier League as The Blues lifted the title in 2015. But then, something completely unexpected happened. Chelsea just fell apart and the now-Manchester United manager lost his job after weeks of pondering by the Chelsea board and the support of fans despite the horrible results.
That the club is currently the best organisation in the Premier League, speaks the fact of how quickly Chelsea have immediately bounced back from the catastrophy in 2015/16. After a brief spell by Guus Hiddink to finish the disastrous season and reorganize the team, Antonio Conte was hired and Chelsea weren’t just their old selves again – they were better.
Below, we go over some decisive factors that point to the fact that Chelsea really is currently the biggest club in England as Tiemoue Bakayoko said on his presentation as their new player:
Chelsea have two Premier League titles since Ferguson left United and a League Cup in 2014/15. United did win the Europa League last season, but have failed to do anything else on the domestic front except win the Fa Cup and League Cup with Louis van Gaal and Mourinho respectively.
Even Manchester City and Leicester City have one domestic league title apiece while United have failed to win a top four place in three of the four seasons they are playing without Alex Ferguson as their manager.
In the summer of 2015 the then-Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez was on the verge of joining Manchester United, but Chelsea came in at the last second and stole Pedro away. Later he went on to become one of the crucial players in the Premier League triumph of last season. A reverse example of Chelsea’s transfer superiority over their Manchester rivals is when they sold them Juan Mata for €44,73 million. Even though he was impressive in his outings for The Blues, the Spaniard was on the subs bench for most of the time at Chelsea and the London club still managed to profit from his sale.
A reverse example is the most recent one when Romelu Lukaku has joined Manchester United. Many United fans were outraged because United had missed out on their primary target, Alvaro Morata, who in turn decided to join Chelsea. Conte got his player fairly cheaper than United would have and for a significantly smaller wage. While some will argue that United is the more marketable club hence the bigger prices whenever they come knocking on the door, the fact remains that Chelsea are constantly putting themselves in a much better position in the transfer window.
Whatever amount they spend on Morata was already gained from the sales of fringe/loan players like Ake, Cuadrado, Traore and Begovic while the impending sales of Matic and Diego Costa should generate at least another €80 million.
Matic is another example of Chelsea’s superiority to their rivals, as they’re reportedly willing to sell the Serbian midfielder for less just so he doesn’t stay in the Premier League and pose a possible threat on the field. Smart thinking from start to finish.
One of the main reasons why Chelsea is going to be one of the dominating teams in England for years to come is the good organisation the club has unlike to the one they have at Manchester United. At United, the Glazer family represent the majority of the Manchester United board and below them they basically have a main operator who takes care of all matters related to the club in the name of Ed Woodward. United don’t have a sporting director so they hire freelance advisors and the manager’s opinion is taken into consideration although the head coach doesn’t necessarily have the final say. As a result, the transfer targets are evaluated on marketability as much as they are on their footballing attributes.
Hierarchically Chelsea resemble a modern club. On the very top it’s Roman Abramovich who’s the owner, Bruce Buck is the Chairman, former Nigerian player Michael Emenalo is the Technical Director and Marina Granovskaya is the Director of Football. Emenalo is as of recently a UEFA PRO Licence holder and is mostly the football connection with the buseness segment at the club. He takes care of the scouting network and is working closely with Antonio Conte on determining transfer targets, while Granovskaya takes care of the transfers deals and negotiating.
This allows every employee to do their job with more fluidity. The results are on the table, Chelsea are signing world class players, they are playing fantastic football, they are one of the few big clubs that turn in profit from player sales and most importantly – their fans are usually happy.