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Chelsea bidders forced to agree on 10-year condition ahead of final decision being made

“The new owners coming in will have new perspectives, new ways of running the club,” he said. “There will be a new outlook. It’s quite common in business. If the model changes, which I’m sure it will do, will they be able to enjoy the largesse of previous years? Probably not.

“One of the questions all investors will look at is the ground because it’s becoming increasingly smaller relative to the other members of the big six. So can something be there? It’s a tight space but I’m sure all options are being discussed.

“In terms of transfer spending and wage spend, Chelsea have been quite generous under Abramovich. Everything is open to questioning. Transfer policy, they have usually gone for the big signings but they might not be in a position to do so as frequently as in the past.

“Will it define their position in the big six? If Chelsea continue to grow their commercial arm they should be OK. They have been pretty successful in Europe and that has given them a commercial boost. Europe is crucial.

“We’ve seen what happens if you don’t qualify for Europe with Arsenal in recent years and if you don’t… United have gotten away with it because they have a big worldwide fanbase and a commercial operation but if you’re not in Europe every second year it will start to hurt.”

Purcell believes that the three shortlisted groups being spearheaded by American investors carries additional consequences for the Premier League going forward, leaving only Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur among the “big six” not to be controlled by groups based Stateside.

That, he says, could lead to a renewed demand for a European Super League in the future.

“The three parties involved are all American, no surprises there, and it means four of the big six clubs outside of Spurs will Man City will be in their hands. There are longer-term implications for the Premier League and Super League over that.

“As private equity groups, put yourselves in their position. If you’re going to invest in a sports business, a football club, what would you be looking for? First, a steady revenue stream and then to eliminate or decrease risk factors. What’s the biggest risk factor apart from the amount of money you spend? Competitive environment. If they are not delivering the financial return then you change the competition format.

“The American mindset is if you’re going to spend a dollar, what’s the return. There’s very little sentiment in business and it’s different to the homegrown fan with a huge attachment to their club – a massive relationship – because the private equity people are only in it to make a return. Once it loses its allure they can move on to something else.”

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