Chelsea have confirmed that they will take place in the International Champions Cup next summer for the fifth straight season, with the tournament deciding to get bigger by moving to a global audience.
The competition used to be played in front of thousands of people in the United States of America. However, in recent years, organisers have decided to include Asia, Europe and Australia as venues for their glorified friendlies.
The tournament has been designed to give audiences from the aforementioned continents the chance to see stars they would have only been able to see on their television screens; however, the likelihood of a number of those being used is slim to none.
Eighteen teams in total are expected to compete against each other in ‘competitive’ fixtures in their worldwide tour, but after the abysmal campaign the Blues have had this year, they should consider the possibility of staying closer to home and working on rebuilding the side.
Purely a business decision at a bad time
If you take away the football from the International Champions Cup, then it is purely a business exercise for some of the world’s biggest clubs to try and tap into a market they are either not involved with, or could do with strengthening. This summer’s tournament does not come at a great time for clubs, with the World Cup taking place and a transfer window that has been considerably shortened.
Players will need to use all the time they have available to rest and recharge their batteries ahead of another Premier League and the Europa League; therefore, the idea of heading all the way across the globe to play in ‘friendlies’ seems a bit silly, considering the Blues are already scheduled to play an exhibition in Perth, Australia on July 23.
Blues should stay at home and rebuild
Chelsea should look to use the time to stay as close to home and work on rebuilding their squad and analysing what went wrong during the previous campaign, whilst should a new manager be hired, he will need to spend valuable time with his new squad to get to learn their best roles.
Antonio Conte is thought to be nearing the end of his reign at Stamford Bridge and speculation continues to mount about a new potential successor, although the Blues do not appear to be anywhere near deciding who to bring in.
The lack of Champions League football could prove to be a deterrent for a number of head coaches, as those being targeted will almost already be involved in next year’s competition should they remain at their current clubs.
The International Champions Cup could be a good revenue turner and marketing strategy for a number of teams, but Chelsea should be more concerned with becoming one of the more dominant forces in European football, and a pre-season campaign where they decide not to go globetrotting around the world could benefit them more than the financial gain.
Unfortunately, however, the game of football has turned commercial and it is unlikely the Stamford Bridge outfit will turn down an opportunity to make more money by exploiting the Blues brand all across different areas of the planet.