Chelsea in crisis – who has most to lose?
Published 05/09/2009 | 02:50
After Fifa banned Chelsea from buying players until 2011, Sam Wallace explains who has most to lose and why it may work out for Abramovich
Roman Abramovich Chelsea's owner
At least the ban on transfers until 2011 will save him a few quid. That may not seem as flippant as it looks because seasoned Chelsea observers have identified a growing unwillingness in the Russian billionaire to pay the big money. He refused to do so for Kaká and Franck Ribéry this summer.
Okay, so Abramovich first conquered English football by outspending every other club but the game is changing now. He cannot compete with Manchester City or, it seems, Real Madrid so he needs another approach. The circumstances are not ideal but it will at least mean he does not have to make difficult decisions on spending.
He and his tenacious aide Eugene Tenenbaum, a club director, will not accept any excuses from players or staff on results just because they have a transfer ban.
Peter Kenyon Chief executive
How we all snorted with derision when Kenyon made his great promise that the club would break even by 2010. Now he might just be right, but a transfer ban was not what Kenyon had in mind when he said he did not want to overpay on signings.
Kenyon will be trying hard to distance himself from Frank Arnesen's acquisition of Gaël Kakuta but he was part of the talks that rejected Lens' appeal for a €5m fee. He has done his best to fight the Dane for Abramovich's preferment but has not succeeded. If he cannot use this to defeat Arnesen then he never will.
The feeling is that Kenyon cannot win this one and that already Arnesen is edging him out. The end could be soon.
Frank Arnesen Sporting director
The man to whom mud never sticks. Teacher's pet with Abramovich. Promoted to sporting director in the summer he seems able to spend as much money as he likes on expensive teenage duds. He has survived Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari's dismissals. He will probably survive this.
The interesting thing about the Kakuta scandal is that for all the average kids Arnesen has spent a fortune on, the boy from Lens is the pick of the lot. Kakuta is the best hope Arnesen had of vindicating his £2m salary and enormous budget. He will want Chelsea to persist with the player. At least that is what he will have been telling Abramovich over the last few days.
Carlo Ancelotti Manager
He thought he has been through it all with the Calciopoli scandal in Italy but until you've been caught up in a Chelsea cock-up you ain't seen nothing.
For Ancelotti it is not a two-match transfer window embargo but a three-window embargo. He was not even allowed to sign anyone this summer. The likes of Yuri Zhirkov, Daniel Sturridge and Ross Turnbull were Arnesen picks. Chelsea made a half-hearted attempt to sign Andrea Pirlo from Milan on Ancelotti's insistence but baulked at the price.
Ancelotti is most likely to shrug, raise a quizzical left eyebrow and get on with it. He knew he was joining the madhouse when he came to Chelsea and this will not have changed his view. Unlike Mourinho, he is not the type to throw a tantrum and blame everyone else.
John Terry Captain
First things first: is my new £160,000-a-week contract safe? Phew, thank God for that. No new players for a year? That's okay we've still got Lampsy, Baly, Didi, Big Pete, Riccy and Decs.
The eternally optimistic Chelsea captain went on the record after the FA Cup final win by saying that the club should splash out on players but his primary concern is his own situation. He will be mollified by the new contract and in the right frame of mind to say to his team-mates that they have to triumph in adversity. Considering the money that Abramovich is paying him it would be remiss to do otherwise.