Strasbourg Fans Express Discontent with Todd Boehly's Approach After Club Takeover
Strasbourg supporters have raised concerns and criticism regarding Todd Boehly's ownership of the club, just months after he completed his purchase of the Ligue 1 team. Boehly's BlueCo consortium, which also owns Chelsea, acquired Strasbourg back in June. Their acquisition was accompanied by an ambitious plan to develop a multi-club model.
While the exact size of Chelsea's stake in Strasbourg was not officially disclosed, reports from France suggested that BlueCo had bought the entire club for around £65 million, pledging to invest in both the first team and the academy.
However, despite appointing Patrick Vieira as the manager and spending nearly £50 million in the summer transfer market, Strasbourg's performance has fallen short of expectations. Currently sitting 11th in Ligue 1, the team has only won one of its last five games.
In a letter addressed to club president Marc Keller, Strasbourg's supporters voiced their concerns, which may sound familiar to Chelsea fans. The letter, composed by the fan group "The Fédération Supporters RCS," began by highlighting the disappointment in the club's recent recruitment strategy.
The fans expressed their worries about recruiting very young and inexperienced players, potentially overexposing them to pressure and competition. They argued that this strategy, which favors youthful hopefuls, lacks sporting sense and has left the fans feeling disconnected from the team. The letter emphasized that this approach seemed far from the announced ambition and reinforced the perception that the club was turning into a training center within a global business.
It's worth noting that both Chelsea and Strasbourg rank among the top 10 youngest teams in Europe's top five leagues this season, considering the average age of their players.
During a recent 2-1 defeat to Nantes, discontent among Strasbourg supporters became evident, underscoring their frustration. Furthermore, the fans didn't hesitate to mock Boehly for his tenure at Chelsea. Despite spending over £1 billion, mainly on young players, Chelsea finished 12th last season and continues to struggle in the current campaign.
The letter continued to emphasize that money alone, without competence, does not guarantee success in football. The example of Chelsea's fall in the English hierarchy despite their significant expenditures served as a cautionary tale. Strasbourg fans were clear in their message, stating that they did not want the incompetence seen at Chelsea to permeate their club.
The Federation Supporters RCS also voiced their opposition to the growing multi-club ownership model in European football. Strasbourg became the second club under BlueCo's portfolio. They warned that this system could jeopardize the pyramid structure of football, potentially reducing most clubs to mere developmental centers for young players and serving the few elite clubs at the top of the pyramid for business profit.
Upon announcing their takeover in June, BlueCo expressed their ambition to elevate Strasbourg to a top-eight team in France. They also emphasized the sharing of resources and expertise with Chelsea, as well as the development of players, including those from overseas.
In summary, Strasbourg supporters' discontent with Todd Boehly's approach to their club's ownership is a matter of growing concern. The focus on young players, reminiscent of Chelsea's approach, has sparked criticism, and the multi-club model in European football is raising questions about the future of smaller clubs.