Change of cycle: Real Madrid against the great tycoons

Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and changed the rules of the game. The Russian started the revolution with a checkbook. Since then, other wealthy owners have gradually arrived, each time richer. With those of Manchester City and PSG as the greatest exponents. Ten years after Qatar's landing at PSG, the nouveau riche have taken control of the Champions League with three members among the four semi-finalists.

Real Madrid Shield / Flag

Shield / Flag M. City

Real Madrid is the only one sailing against the new world order imposed by the great tycoons behind the clubs. In this edition of the Champions, the top three examples of billionaires in the service of football have come full circle and qualified for the Champions semi-finals. Never seen. It has cost them, especially a lot of money, but they are already there. They have managed to turn the football map. From middle-class clubs, to first swords.

In 2008, Abu Dhabi United Group took over Manchester City. Its owner is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family. Since his landing in the English entity, he made a mega investment that saved the club from disaster and that has paid off. Qualify for the second semifinals of the Champions League in its history (the other was in 2016). The culmination of years and years of economic waste to have the best footballers on the planet.

Chelsea spent € 854.03M to win the Champions League in 2012

The same fate has suffered PSG, controlled by Qatar Sports Investments. A project supported directly by the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Nasser Al-Khelaïfi has presided over the Paris club since 2011, with the firm goal of scoring the highest continental trophy for clubs. Like Chelsea and Manchester City, spending a lot of money has always been the formula these new tycoons have used to revolutionize football. The shortest way to success, along with a complicated financial engineering work to circumvent the rules of Financial Fair Play. PSG already had honey on their lips last year and in this a place in the final will be played against another project backed by petrodollars and a city-state: City.

The numbers of the three clubs

Team Ownership (year) Transfer spending Sales Biggest purchase Best sale
Chelsea Roman Abramovich (2003) € 2,222.58M € 1,168.51M Kepa / Havertz (€ 80M) Hazard (€ 115M)
Manchester City Abu Dhabi United Group (2008) € 2,016.17M € 599.32M De Bruyne (€ 76M) Sané (€ 45M)
PSG Qatar Sports Investments (2011) € 1,315.1M € 448.85M Neymar (€ 222M) Guedes (€ 40M)

Abramovich, the pioneer

Chelsea Shield / Flag

The Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, was the pioneer. The one who showed the way forward. Perhaps for that reason, he was the one who had previously savored success: the Champions League final in 2008 and the Champions League final in 2012. His investment in these 18 seasons has been monstrous: 2,222.58 million euros. His top was precisely this season with € 247.2M in the Havertz, Werner, Chilwell and company. Sales have also been an important part of the project for almost 20 years: € 1,168.51M raised. Generating a deficit between purchases and sales of 1,054 million euros. The Russian millionaire had to invest 854.03 million before achieving his only Champions League in 2012.

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Abramovich celebrating the Champions League.

Abramovich touched the sky. City and PSG have the same dream. The millions of euros from the UAE have revitalized the City. Since the mega signing of Robinho in 2008 he has not stopped pumping euros into the entity citizen. Until reaching € 2,016.17M of expenditure. Skimming the top of Chelsea. But it contrasts with those of London in a lower sales capacity. € 599.32M, generating a significant deficit of € 1.1416.85M. Big words.

PSG, the last to arrive

Shield / Flag PSG

PSG is firmly convinced that sooner or later it will win its second Champions League for France. He does not skimp on resources to achieve it. In a somewhat different model than his 'twin brothers', focused on spending a lot but on great figures: € 1,315.1M. He went from signing for 9 million euros in 2010-2011 to surpassing the € 100m barrier the following season, already with money from Qatar Sports Investments. A club that reached its zenith with the signings of Neymar (€ 222M) and Mbappé (€ 145M) and that has entered sales of € 448.85M in these ten seasons.

Three teams that have the penalty money. With similarities and with little international tradition, only with four Recopas in their showcases. City won it in 1970; PSG, in 1996 and Chelsea, in 1971 and 1998. And who has now become three great European ogres, based on checkbook. Opposite, Real Madrid. The colossus of the great European nights, the King of Europe with his 13 Champions, the team that has a special love affair with the European Cup. The club that defends the honor of the old football against the new hierarchical order. A Real Madrid, alone in the face of danger.