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 mirage.so 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 fans....so 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!!