The breaking news on transfer deadline day: Barnsley sign Jacob Mellis on loan until the end of the seas … oh, hang on, perhaps we should start with Torres.
After a day of swings and Sky reporters standing next to roundabouts, confirmation of the Torres deal comes when Liverpool, who had been rumaging behind the sofa to find enough for Charlie Adam, suddenly made a £35m bid for Andy Carroll. That must mean…
Torres , or Fernando José Torres Sanz to give him his full title, disappeared earlier in the day driven out of Melwood and didn’t reappear until he was interviewed on Chelsea TV saying he had left Liverpool to play at the highest level. Still, the Reds will not mind, they have all that history to polish.
The fee is rumoured to be £50m by far a club record. Regular followers of the curse of the record signing will be hoping that he is not another David Hay, Robert Fleck, Chris Sutton or Andriy Shevchenko. He has some advatages on those on that list: his retinas are still attached, he has never played for Norwich, he is not a defender turned striker and he is still 26.
The size of the fee is staggering and the first time we have been involved in the British transfer record since Tommy Lawton left for Notts County in 1947. Shevchenko doesn’t count because he cost less than the add ons to Rio Ferdinand’s deal. He is the fourth most expensive player of all time behind Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Kaka.
Torres’ wages don’t bear thinking about but are rumoured to make the club’s top earners look like paupers.
Flying in from Portugal, after all the teasing from Benfica, is David Luiz (David Luiz Moreira Marinho). His fee is somewhere between £17m and £26.5m depending where you get your quote (£21.3 is the most widely reported). While Torres is the marquee signing, Luiz is probably the more important. A versatile defender with a good ten years ahead of him, Luiz has played left-back and central defence. He is starting out on his international career but is one of the most promising defenders currently playing.
As part of the Luiz deal we lose Nemanja Matic, who is currently on loan with Vitesse Arnhem. Also leaving us but on loan are Daniel Sturridge, who joins Owen Coyle at Bolton Wanderers and Jacob Mellis, as we said joins Barnsley on loan at the same time as Blues old boy Frank Nouble joins the Tykes from the ’ammers for the rest of the season.
It is not clear how we can afford all of this. It seems that after sleeping in the transfer market for six years Roman suddenly woke up and decided on some big toys. If you take Shevchenko out of the spending in the last five years Chelsea only spent £66.3m; yesterday alone we racked up £71m. But announced quietly yesterday were a few highlights of last season’s financial results and they don’t make for a good read. The headline loss was £70.9m, up from £47.4. Those figures don’t take account of the substantial sums saved in wages when off loading five players in the summer but as group turnover increased from £203.3 to £205.8 in a year we won the double it is hard to see how losses next season will not go up. Uefa rules now state that we will only be allowed into the Champions League if losses between 2012 and 2015 do not exceed £38m. The club are confident they can pull it off, they will certainly have an easier task than Man City, they point to expected rises in sponsorship and television income but it looks like the ticket prices will be hiked and the Bridge will become the Your Name Here Stadium.
Before we forget the FA Youth Cup game at home to Barnsley will be on Friday 11 February at the Bridge.