Has Roman changed his tune at Chelsea?

I am reading reports today that Roman Abramovich has decided to ring the changes at Chelsea with regards to player contracts in light of the...

I am reading reports today that Roman Abramovich has decided to ring the changes at Chelsea with regards to player contracts in light of the money that has been blown away on past players. Its been openly reported (here ) that Chelsea have lost approx £70m in salaries paid to players who have contributed very little. Juan Sebastien Veron, Hernan Crespo and Andrei Shevchenko have been mentioned in this report and if rumours are to be believed, Roman has decided enough is enough.

The report has broken today as there is the uncertainty that surrounds the likes of Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Nicolas Anelka . As reported on the site Joe Cole is after a new deal at Chelsea and has United rumoured to be waiting in the wings if negotiations break down. Anelka (as reported yesterday) is rumoured to have been offered a new two year deal. Michael Ballack however, is looking for a new deal which will see out his career in football. Its been rumoured he has been offered a two year deal but with some clauses/stipulations to it and the same offered to Cole and Anelka.

The clauses/stipulations seem to be that these three have been offered one year deals with the option of an additional year if can be agreed by the club and the player. There are bonuses paid to the player for appearances etc etc which will improve the contract they would be working under but again is based on clauses that would need to be met.

Now where Abramovich has stepped in is the value of the contracts on offer. We don't know for definate and never will but its reported that when Ballack signed for the club he was on a reported £121,000 per week (remember there was no transfer fee paid to Bayern) and the new deal offered is ONLY HALF of his current deal. If he makes 20 appearances next season he would trigger a clause in his contract that would take his salary upto £80,000 per week but this is only if he makes those appearances. This new one year plus one more deal would take Ballack to the age of 34 and you could see him bow out at this level after these next two years.

At this stage  we don't have any rumour or report about the contract offered to Anelka ( 30 years of age) and Joe Cole (only 28 years of age) but its seems this could be the stumbling block for Joe Cole and his advisors.

I know what you are thinking, "What about the contracts JT , Lampard and Drogba are on!?" and quite rightly so. I can only suggest that Roman and the club see these three as key members of the side and there is no argument as age was on their side at the time their new deals were signed. They have been featured more or less week-in, week-out of the side apart from a few minor injuries and have proved their worth to the club.

The fact is that Roman Abramovich has taken stock of the situation at Chelsea. Looked at whats happened to Portsmouth for example and decided to pull on the purse strings and take a hard line with player salaries and a new approach to contract top ups in order to cut costs. Is he right in doing so?.

The problem we have right now is the Joe Cole situation. If the new hard line with players that have offered little applies to Joe Cole now and his contract negotiations that I am at a loss to explain why. I have said this season that he should be playing but it seems that at the moment Ancelotti doesn't rate him. If the Manager doesn't believe in you as a player then surely he has an opinion or at least a contribution to the club when it comes to offering a new contract.

The Ballack contract (remember its only rumour and speculation) is pretty much the best he will get for his age and for playing at the level Chelsea do. Its more than likely he will say 'Yes" as he has always said he is happy here and his family is settled. Anelka if true, would probably accept the deal as he too has found his "home " at Chelsea and has proved his worth at the club last season.

For Joe Cole I have to say for the first time I am worried. Joe has to look at the situation and either make a choice to work hard, force his way into the managers plans to activate these clauses/top ups to get more of a salary he feels he is worth, or make the decision purely financial and move on. I would hate to see Joe Cole ever leave Chelsea as at the end of the day he is one of us.

That is the harsh reality of football these days and whether you think its right or wrong Abramovich has taken a stand and put the message out to players that you will be paid what you are worth and if you want more you will have to earn it!.

The only problem I see, is that certain players can now be offered more money and bigger contracts elsewhere and this can come back and bite us on the arse, but remember Man City, we have been there, done that and have learn't from our mistakes. Abramovich has learn't from his mistakes and is intent on them not happening again.


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