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Football Finance

Wall Street Brings Its Financial Engineering to English Football

Chelsea’s new US private-equity owners are betting their knowhow will make the London club more valuable than some of its biggest rivals. 

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It’s no secret that Wall Street likes to test the rules. Mortgage-backed securities, options pricing, credit risk, SPACs — all have been subject to what’s known as financial engineering. Now, it’s the turn of football.

Ever since a US consortium led by Clearlake Capital acquired Chelsea Football Club for £2.5 billion ($3 billion) in May, co-owner Todd Boehly has led a charge to outbid rivals for star players. The result was close to £600 million this season alone, more than the total spent in the French, Spanish, German and Italian top leagues combined during the recent January transfer window.