Blues plan for the long haul


  • Other Sport
  • Wednesday, 27 Apr 2005

LONDON: Chelsea don’t plan to wait another 50 years for a league title if they wrap up the Premier League against Bolton on Saturday. 

But chief executive Peter Kenyon admits Jose Mourinho will not be able to throw money around like he did last year in the summer transfer period. 

Kenyon is already looking to the long-term, predicting that Chelsea will be one of the dominant forces in English football for years to come. 

“What has happened this season is a remarkable achievement but there is nothing with the team or set-up that suggests it’s a one-off event. The key for us is that it’s sustainable,” he said. 

Chelsea can be expected to invest in at least one world-class player this summer, with Steven Gerrard among those linked with Stamford Bridge.  

Mourinho, who is also after a left-back, has nevertheless accepted that spending will be controlled – at least in comparison to the past two years, in which more than £200mil has been invested. 

Peter kenyon, the chief executive of Chelsea (right), manager Jose Mourinho (left) and Samsung electronics Europe president Kin In-soo pose with a football shirt after announcing a new sponsorship deal at Stamford Bridge on Monday. - Reuterspic

Chelsea have announced a record club sponsorship deal of £50mil over five years with electronics firm Samsung. 

But the club are committed to breaking even within that period, rather than continuing to rely on Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich’s cash.  

“We have plans and parameters and Jose is very comfortable and happy with those,” Kenyon added. 

“Clearly, there are two aspects to this company becoming profitable – one is the ability to grow sales and the other one is to control costs.  

“Everyone has bought into that, including Jose, and we’re committed to our academy system and youth structure. 

“Jose feels whether it’s £1mil or £10mil being spent, he needs to justify it. Each player is one of 24 and he needs them to perform well.” 

But Kenyon denied they were under pressure from Abramovich to keep the spending down. 

“But although there is a lot of flexibility, we all think, for the long-term, that Chelsea has to reach a position whereby it’s run right as a business, as well as on the field. 

“I don’t think that one is in conflict with the other. It’s about the long-term sustainability of Chelsea FC.” 

However, it is hard to imagine the Chelsea purse-strings would not be loosened if Andrei Shevchenko or Thierry Henry became available. 

Funds will nevertheless also be raised by the sale of existing players, including Hernan Crespo and Juan Sebastian Veron, as well as presumably Geremi and Carlo Cudicini.  

As for Crespo and Veron, who are both on loan in Italy, Kenyon revealed: “Those serious discussions will be started in earnest in the next few weeks.” 

The Chelsea chief executive also indicated Mourinho could be rewarded for this season’s success with a lucrative new contract. 

“His age, his success, his experience and what he and the team have achieved this season are all remarkable. I think we’re going to be partners for a long time to come,” said Kenyon. 

“Jose Mourinho has moved us on from last season. Every one of the players who is still here is a better player now.” – AFP 

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