The Atalanta and Boston Celtics co-owner was one of the shortlisted candidates in the takeover process last year, as the Government pushed for a quick sale following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich.
That ultimately proved unsuccessful as he lost out to Boehly’s consortium, with Pagliuca now reflecting on his reasoning for making a bid.
“We were obviously disappointed with the outcome,” he told the FT Business of Football Summit.
“We assessed it all. Chelsea is very iconic, it’s a city that people love and it has a great fan base. Chelsea had all those. I think it is a wonderful operation and we were disappointed to lose it. We wanted really to have enough capital for players for the long-term.
“Based on our assessment, we were ready to pay a very high price and were still beaten. That often happens at auctions and we think it is a property that will do very well.”
The spending has been huge since takeover, with more than £600million spent on players across the summer and January transfer windows. It is yet to have an impact on the pitch though, with Chelsea languishing down in 10th.
Pagliuca was quizzed on how he would have run the club. He said: “I think I would have followed a similar playbook.
“We were certainly in the top couple and came very close to winning it. I have been bidding on properties for 35 years now and you fall in love with them but you try to have a certain amount of discipline.
“We try to stick to that discipline for ourselves and investors. I thought it was a fine and crisp process.”
In response to a question on potential interest in Liverpool and Manchester United, Pagliuca was relatively coy though explained how the Chelsea takeover process has impacted over owners of Premier League clubs.
“I can’t talk specifically about any transactions because of confidentiality agreements,” Pagliuca revealed.
“We are aware of those transactions. The question on those transactions is similar to Chelsea where it is about what price level is sustainable. It was a process that received a record price so it has probably motivated folks to try to monetise their own clubs.
“We’re in a period where values have been driven up.”