Chelsea’s average salary has been dramatically reduced under the Todd Boehly-led ownership group, according to reports.

The American businessman, who is a co-owner of the Blues with Behdad Eghbali, joined forces with Clearlake Capital to purchase the club a year ago in the aftermath of Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government.

However, it has been a dismal and chaotic first season of ownership, with Boehly becoming a figure of fun in many quarters after several decisions have backfired.

Chelsea are languishing in 12th place and are on course for their first bottom-half finish since the 1995-96 campaign despite spending more than £600m on 18 players across the summer and winter transfer windows, as their strategy has often looked haphazard and flawed.

This has culminated in the Blues using a whopping 32 players in total this season – the second most in the top flight behind Nottingham Forest’s 33 – while they have also had four caretaker or permanent managers in the dugout.

And, according to The Times, one of the key legacies from their first year at the helm – which will soon see a third permanent manager of their tenure arrive when Mauricio Pochettino is announced – has been the reduction of the Blues’ wage bill.

Upon arrival, Boehly and Clearlake were shocked at the sky-high salaries that were handed out under the previous regime, with Chelsea often gazumping several other clubs to signings by virtue of offering larger wages.

This was no more evident than with the signing of Romelu Lukaku for £97.5m in the summer of 2021, with the Belgian striker becoming the highest-paid player in the club’s history on £315,000-a-week.

However, Lukaku’s return to the club where he was previously at between 2011 to 2014 was a disaster and he has spent this season out on loan with Inter Milan – but the 30-year-old still has three years to run on his mega-money contract.

The report goes onto state Boehly and Co. wanted to change this and lower the risk of signings potentially going wrong.

As a result, several of this season’s additions such as Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Muidryk and Noni Madueke have all penned much longer contracts on significantly lower wages.

Those three new signings – who arrived for more than a £200m outlay – all signed Chelsea deals until at least 2030.

Chelsea must complete task they have failed all season to turnaround Pochettino fortunes

Chelsea’s defeat to Newcastle United brought the Blues back down to Earth following positive results against Manchester City and Tottenham, and stiff tests await in the coming weeks

Chelsea have endured an erratic start to the season. There has been frustration and jubilation in the opening three months of 2023/24 and following the defeat to Newcastle feelings have firmly settled on disappointment.

It was a slow start to life as head coach for Mauricio Pochettino as the Blues won just one of their opening six Premier League fixtures. That sole win came against a struggling Luton Town, but the west London side rebounded to earn three wins and two draws in their next six matches, before defeat against the Magpies.

Chelsea’s pattern of form made it clear in a large part that Pochettino’s side was struggling against teams who were happy to sit deep before launching counter-attacks and finding more success against the league’s top teams. The Blues have even already improved their record against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City this season.

In a large part that has proven to be too but Chelsea’s points have also confined themselves to the teams that currently sit in the bottom and top five of the Premier League rankings

Discounting Everton who have only entered the bottom five due to their points deduction, Chelsea have earned three points against Burnley, 20th, Luton Town, 17th, and Fulham, 15th (before their win over Wolves), and earned a draw against Bournemouth, 16th. They have also recorded points against Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs, but lost to Aston Villa who currently sit fourth.

They have not picked up points outside of these positions. For Chelsea to bounce back, they will need to overcome that obstacle.

Brighton, Manchester United and Everton make up the Blues’ next three fixtures – teams that sit among the middle 10 teams in the table in terms of points won. With the Seagulls and Red Devils currently above Chelsea in the table, success in those fixtures could clearly help begin to narrow the gap.

Unfortunately, they are currently six points behind Brighton and eight behind Erik ten Hag’s side. Safe to say, failure to take points in those fixtures would compound Chelsea’s issues and cement them as a midtable team.

Pochettino has already taken his side to victory over Brighton at Stamford Bridge this season, with a victory in the Carabao Cup, but Chelsea have not defeated Brighton in the Premier League since September 2020. A run of five matches without earning three points against the Sussex side.

Chelsea sit 10th and have little room not to push on. A win cannot see them move to ninth next weekend, but other teams could take advantage of a Chelsea defeat. Brentford, Wolves and Crystal Palace can all overtake Chelsea in the table this coming weekend.

Chelsea have shown some progress, and provided entertainment this term but now must compete in every game and rack up points if they hope to maintain European

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