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After the Dark Clouds - Then the rain!

After the Dark Clouds - Then the rain!

I read Merlin`s article - 'What a wasted opportunity' this morning and I could only smile because if there was anybody who could be termed as grossly disappointed, that person was me.

Clingy can bear me witness as it was just the two of us on the forum during the last hour of transfer last night, really sad stuff. Let me start by saying I took yesterday off work just to be able to enjoy deadline transfers (and believe me my job is a very tough one - investment banking), I had hoped something was going to happen, but alas. Roman and the board showed us all a new side.

You can call it stubborn, resolute, stoic, confused, wicked or nonchalant depending on the angle you are looking at it from. Today is February 1st and truth is we are faced with reality - a highly uncertain four months where anything could happen.

I have gone through different cycles since yesterday night from denial (as in its not my business), to depression, to worry. I am at work right now suffering from the consequence of my decision to take yesterday off (plenty of work), but all in all I have chosen to take a deep look at recent events and form a perspective.

I guess this week is dedicated to Chelsea, Proper work starts Monday!

Below is the list of Chelsea players whose contract is set to expire summer 2013, the players' ages clearly shows the end of an era;

• Paulo Ferrera - 34
• Ross Tubrbull - 28
• Yousi Benayoun - 32
• Hilario - 37
• Florent Malouda - 32
• Frank Lampard - 34

By my estimation, if none of these contracts are renewed, then we will be saving between £350-400k on weekly wages. If Lampard is granted a year's extension on current wages (which is highly unlikely), then the figures will come down to £240-290k in terms of savings in weekly wages. Frankly I don't think Lampard's contract will be extended, so I'll stick with the £350-400k savings in weekly wages.

We can no longer recruit players until the summer and events that will occur then will be particularly Interesting. We have 3-4 players, (Lukaku), Courtois, KDB and Josh) who in my opinion are now good enough to be integrated into the first team as there is actually a space for them in the team right now and with a maximum of 3-4 further first team signings (best case scenario), we should have a very strong squad at least on paper.

With teams like Anhi still spending money rather carelessly, there's also the vague possibility of Torres (and maybe Marin being) shipped out which also bodes well for the club both in terms of finances and/or quality of football. the worst case scenario is for Torres to be replaced by another high earner like Cavani or Falcao and I don't think any of these will earn more than Torres currently earns at the moment so that won`t worsen our position financially in terms of salaries.

Going by the way in which we have been going about our business, I expect the three players coming in to be on an average wage of £70k a week (maximum) which implies an additional outlay of £210k in terms of wages (excluding transfer fees) which will also leave us in the green when compared to the savings from players to be released (I excluded the weekly wages of a high earning striker from the incoming transfer because it will be a like for like substitution for Torres who is also a very high earner.

So overall I don't think our position is as bad as it looks on the surface when one takes a holistic view of the possibilities. Now what are the key risks to the rosy picture I just painted above?. For me the first is the insane level of instability currently rocking our club from top down.

Right now we look to be in disarray with no clear direction I mean in terms of overall strategy of the club. As a fan, I can only hope that the lessons from this season and the prior ones would have persuaded our owner and board to take a hard look at themselves.

For me, aside the fact that his actions suggest he his highly impatient, I don't have loads problem with Roman. I strongly feel he knows exactly he wants but he is probably going about it the wrong way based on the quality of advice he gets from the people around him which is sad. More than anything else, Roman's personal appointment of AVB clearly shows the owner is looking for something and has his eyes on the future.

My stance is further strengthened by our insatiable appetite for young world class talents which does not appear to have abated given our recent pursuit of Butland. Starting from the summer, there has to be a swift change fundamentally in the way the club is being run, if that does not happen then the team picture I painted above will only remain a close yet so far.

The club can take any route it deems fit but the overall objective should be the same, which is that new processes be put in place to ensure the coach is able to work here without strain and fear of getting the sack after the first 4-5 poor results!.

Furthermore, medium to long term stability should be a key consideration in selecting the next manager (not a trainer). Things could also take a turn for the worse if we do not achieve a top 4 finish this season as that might cause a bit of unrest within our young squad as certain players might want Champion's League football.

So could that happen? (Absolutely yes - especially with the squad short in numbers and Tubby in charge).

Will it happen? (Nobody knows).

If it happens, what is the worst case scenario?

We won`t play Champions League next season, we'll lose money from not finishing top four. but we are still integrating youth (KDB, Josh, Courtouis and maybe Kraken) and I am sure we will still buy those three players and none of our top talents will leave at least not next season as they are all tied to long term contracts anyways.

The pressure will be to return to the Champions League the following season and with the team we will have then together a coach in the mould of Hiddink (yes, the rumour is very much alive on tweeter), Mourinho or any other younger coach with some tactical brain. I am quite confident we won't do a Liverpool.

For me that is the worst case scenario which is unlikely to happen and possibly explains the quietness and cold bloodedness we saw from the board yesterday. They don't appear desperate in any way and I wish I could share their confidence.

We the fans will have to anxiously wait to see what the next four months hold for our dear team. This article is not about tubby, it`s about Chelsea Football Club and her folks lets ramp up support for the club and this young team of ours especially in times such as this.

It`s probably not as bad as we are thinking and let me add, regardless of what happens to Frank's Chelsea future, I hope he breaks that freaking record. He'll get more playing time now.

Yes dark clouds are gathering, but after the dark clouds, the rains will fall and then sun will shine through. Depending on how you look at it, for me its an exciting time to support this club, our youth will finally get a chance, and I back the board and owner to get it right this time.

After all the appointment of AVB was close or wasn't it?

We will be fine.

Carefree guys. Carefree!!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Friday February 1 2013
Time: 1:29PM


@Merlin...the final paragraph is missing **sad sad!!...thanks for the editing all the same...dint expect the article to be out soo soon..good work.
01/02/2013 13:50:00
mmmm.... our brilliant young squad has grossly under achieved whichever way you look at it. and i agree with your assessment looking forward but one things bugs me you seem to take it as almost a cert that someone will take torres off our hands with his 180k pw. maybe they will but i don't share your optimism here. hope you are right though.
01/02/2013 13:55:00
@Trueblue...nah!....I said there is a VAGUE possibility of torres leaving...which simply means I know it might be difficult to get a taker....but with teams like Anzhi around, you never can tell...if torres is not shipped we'll probably by buying 3 new players...if we are able to ship him, that will make the total, number of players coming in 4....we'll wait and see.....
01/02/2013 14:00:00
Bielsa in as manager in summer=good football, youth developed and stable period fot the club: a legacy built and coaches from ajax in to reform our youth set up. A few years later bielsa heads the board so we have football knowledge at the top and poyet or brittish manager takes the reigns
01/02/2013 14:00:00
quite a few i bankers here. I was one myself until i decided to do my own stuff.
Blue India
01/02/2013 14:05:00
@Blue...goin back to academics pretty they dont sqeeze life outa me....i envy you mate!!
01/02/2013 14:23:00
i would not mind seeing poyet as manager with Guus as director of football. Would also love to see wilkins back as assistant. I doubt it though!
01/02/2013 15:06:00
At least you had me for company ol son :)
01/02/2013 15:44:00
0 you go again...m laffing hard...yeah at least we hooked up!...a bit lonely though...
01/02/2013 15:47:00
Layorh12 this is an excellent article. Very well written,..i love the optimism peppered with a tincture of reality. I am encouraged..i live in hope that even if we do have a deluge for the rest of the season it wont result in massive flooding and damage but that the sun will come out shortly thereafter and that Chelsea FC like the legendary Phoenix will rise again from the ashes. Thanks for this. Very well done!!
01/02/2013 15:50:00
...and then a flood.
01/02/2013 15:52:00
...hopefully no snow lol I agree getting rid of the deadwood will certainly free up spaces in the squad for some additions to be made in the summer...i guess it all boils down to who replaces RB when the time comes. will wait and the meantime no high hopes for this season, but that top 4 finish remains absolutely imperative or heads will definitely roll and i aint just talking about the Tubbster either
01/02/2013 15:59:00
@GabeU..thanks....learning the trade from you!!!! it does not we mean wont still experience some pains...but hey why are we fans?...its for the good and the bad....In this case, I think our fears are actually magnified in our hearts...I dont think we'll be in as much trouble...but we have to wait and see...starting from Newcastle on saturday...I dont have high hopes for that one..but I still
01/02/2013 16:00:00
@FV: you dont cease to crack me up...hopefully no floods cos that'll be I do think we'll be fine @Johnny: I hope no snow either..looool....God have mercy...a bit of jitters round evry fans' body right now you know...but we have to manage the emotions....its all good.
01/02/2013 16:03:00
Good article. Was actually pleased we didn't go for anyone, as I feel it should be a managers decision - have we got someone lined up and they're trusting them with extra money from no Jan spend? It's possible. I can see this summer being one of the most exciting transfer windows in a long, long time, managers included. I won't be surprised to see us get Falcao, with Torres and Courtois leaving, (though I would like to think the board are not stupid enough offer Courtois as part of a deal) Cavani to Citeh, and Neymar to Barca. I like the idea of Biesla, but I feel we really need an English speaking manager who can come in and side the dressing room immediately. I can only see it being Mourinho or Moyes. As you have probably gathered, I'm very optimistic about Torres leaving, who knows, maybe Rafa will take him. Wouldn't that be a bliss thing. Would be the best thing Rafa would have done for us in his time here!
01/02/2013 16:28:00
@aslaram...thanks - problem with Tubby leaving is that I dont think he'll take torres with him...cos the way Tubby is doing with this chelsea team, he might have to go back and resume work as a football another couple or years of sabatical...I wonder how Torres is feeling now...left out of the spainsh national for the second consecutive time....I hope its not the beginging of the end for him...and I do hope he still somehow makes the world cup in 2014, I must sasy his chances are not looking good at the moment....not looking good at all....
01/02/2013 16:36:00
@ Layorh - the beginning of the end of FT9's top level football career has already come and gone ol chap...i think we're nearer the end of the end right now lol #justsayin Sorry to Porres fans but i have lost all faith in him. i don't do bandwagon's but Torres has had a big part to play in chelsea's recent misfortunes...nuff said
01/02/2013 17:05:00
I know the board along with Roman have learnt one or two lessons from all the different things that has happen to the club and the many consequences of their decision. That gives me the confidence that they intend to settle down to the the drawing board and readdress a lot of issues. Thats the most sensible thing to do.
01/02/2013 17:17:00
i think most of above player you mentioned above will be seen at QPR....Tony Fernandes the Abromovich of Relegation Zone...buying average player at extrordinary price with Harry as the new mourinho trying to win the relegation battle....god help QPR
01/02/2013 18:15:00
Don't know if anyone has read my thought for the future structure of the club, but I'll give them again anyway. I'm quite passionate about this and I really believe that we should adopt this strategy. I mentioned in previous posts that I would employ 2 managers, one for the here and now and one for two years later. I'm suggesting that hiddink (he's backed down from retirement talk) builds the team over two years, intergrates the players who've been on loan, gets rid of those who aren't deserving of the blue shirt and gets the squad ready for the next man. In the meantime the board is strategically cleansed and an executive football board takes control. These are made up of roman, DOF, life president, CPO chairman, academy director and two former players. Gourlay and buck and the rest of roman's friends are relegated to a business board and thus relegating them from anything to do with decision making at all. Those seven people on the board should then blueprint a mandate which is adhered to for the future. I get the sense that our board currently have no plan for the future it's all now, now, now and not think, think, think. The mandate should be written down and signed off, each person bringing there different views to the table to come up with 5 principles. The DOF brings managerial experience thus is on the managers side already, the CPO chairman and life president bring a fans view on it, the academy director brings the future of the youth teams and the former players bringing the passion of Chelsea, what it means to play for the club. Put this all together and make it work over the next 15 years and you have a wonderful team. I propose the manager after two years be either poyet or Zola. They then take over the reins following the principles. It may sound far fetched but I think it would work. At the moment we just want to get rid of managers at any given moment, this new principle will see the board with all it's experiences, think properly about why things are going wrong and what they can do to rectify them instead of jus papering over the cracks. If of course the manager still can't get it right then he should be dismissed. At the end of the day managers live and die buy the decision they make on and off the pitch. Hats what they should be judged on.
01/02/2013 18:16:00
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