Sunday news roundup

First off… apologies for the extremely poor performance/unavailabilty of the Chelsea Football Club Blog today; some of the software on the server used to host this site freaked out… then the whole server was taken offline in order to carry out a backup recovery. A real pain in the arse — but there was nothing I could do about it.

Now for some of today’s Blues news.

The club has categorically denied breaking Premier League rules after claims in ex-striker Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink’s new book that he received £100,000 for reaching the Champions League last four in 2003/04 rather than the £50,000 written into his deal.

“No payments have been made to any Chelsea player in breach of the Premier League or Football Association regulations,” said a club statement.

“The Premier League contacted Chelsea about this at the time and were made fully aware of the situation. There is nothing to investigate.”

Jose Mourinho hit back at two of football’s more annoying individuals — Arsene Wenger and Johan Cruyff.

Before yesterday’s 4-2 victory over Blackburn, Wenger had suggested we had lost some of our “belief” and were in the midst of a “stutter”. Today Mourinho countered in his usual style: “He has a problem with us you know. He is always looking for us, always thinking about us, always speaking about Chelsea, I don’t know what is happening to him.

“Maybe he wants my job — to leave Arsenal and come here because he is always speaking about Chelsea. He loves Chelsea.”

Mourinho had some equally disparaging words for Cruyff in his weekly column for Portuguese newspaper Record. The former Dutch international made the mistake of criticising him in the press recently — including saying that he had not won respect due to the manner in which he conducts himself.

“Success does not make you above criticism or untouchable,” Mourinho wrote.

“Respect from the general public you win in many ways.

“Respect is not thinking that you alone are right and that no-one can question your views.

“Respect is definitely not having sat with a pen in your hand for ten years criticising everybody.

“And it is certainly not coming to England to play golf and letting fly at somebody, whether you like it or not, who is a serious professional and has won everything that you can win.”

Peter Kenyon has admitted that the club is “seen as a bit of a rebel” by the rest of English football and has pledged its future intention “to work within the system”.

“Perhaps at the moment we are seen as a bit of a rebel and that’s not an objective, we don’t want to be seen as that,” he said. “There are several reasons for it; the Ashley Cole issue, the fact that we have had so much success so quickly and displaced some of the traditional clubs up there, the impact of Jose Mourinho and the fact that the owner is extremely wealthy.”

Kenyon said Chelsea were making great efforts to be part of the establishment. “What I can assure you of is that we want to work within the system,” he said. “We are far from rebels and want to do everything we can to make the industry strong because that’s fundamental to any English club being strong.”

Kenyon also outlined his strategy for building Chelsea into a global brand and to make it “the” London club.

“Chelsea represents being identifiable with London. It is identifiable with entertainment and the King’s Road. That’s one of our differentiations from other clubs.

“The importance of London is critical in our strategy. London today is one of the top three cities in the world. The first objective is to own London.”

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