All about Chelsea

news: All about Chelsea

IT HAS been exactly fifty years since Chelsea last lifted the English Championship trophy. Now they do so again, the ‘Butch’ Wilkins-inspired 1970s side having come closest in the intervening years. The Roman Abramovich-funded ensemble captained by John Terry and orchestrated by José Mourinho travelled to Bolton’s Reebok Stadium and returned to the King’s Road in south-west London, the monarchs of the Premiership, thus emulating the likes of Ted Drake and Roy Bentley, manager and top scorer of the 1955 team. Petr Cech denied Bolton chance after chance before Frank Lampard twice turned the defence inside out to slot the ball home, the 2-0 win finally ending the Man. United/Arsenal championship duopoly.

Chelsea’s chief executive Peter Kenyon had further reason to celebrate. The club has concluded a record ¤70 million sponsorship deal with Korean electronics giant, Samsung, the biggest ever in the Premiership. The agreement will start in June and will initially run for five years. The money will come in useful because Stamford Bridge is due to be rebuilt in order to considerably raise the current seating capacity of 42,449, allowing the club to compete with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal in the long term. An approach has been made to the new ¤1 billion Wembley Arena to serve as a temporary home during redevelopment. On the transfer front, Chelsea say that they are only interested in signing two or three new players this summer who will fit in with Mourinho’s tactical team-planning. Rumours have surrounded Arsenal’s Ashley Cole and Liverpool’s Stephen Gerrard all season but latest information points to Barcelona midfielder Xavi and Inter Milan’s Brazilian striking phenomenon, Adriano. While Xavi is available at a ‘modest’ ¤24 million, Adriano is priced at an incredible ¤100 million! Other possibilities worth mentioning are Juventus’s Zambrotta and Udinese’s Jankulovski while Sporting Braga’s exciting young central defender José Pedro is already in London. Chelsea will make a decision on the teenager’s future following a week’s trial in the reserves.

One player not surplus to requirements, yet seemingly heading out of Stamford Bridge, is William Gallas. The French international is fed up with being played out of position and has admitted being in contact with Barcelona manager, Frank Rijkaard who would welcome him with open arms.

Mourinho has now won one Champions League trophy, one UEFA Cup, two Portuguese titles, one Portuguese Cup and one Portuguese Super Cup (all with Porto) in addition to this season’s Carling Cup and League title, with Chelsea.