Mar 232015
 

Chelsea emerged the 7th richest club in the world when the 18th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League report was released early this year. Chelsea recorded a jump of 25 per cent in revenues to £324.4 million in 2013-14 from the figure of £260 million posted in the previous financial.

Matchday revenues clocked £71m making the club the sixth highest in terms of collection under this category. Owing to size constraints the Stamford Bridge arena manages to hold not more than 42000 people at full capacity and ranks 17th size-wise among the stadiums of Money League’s top 20 clubs. Attendance at Stamford Bridge being packed to capacity for most matches, there is not much scope for growth under this account head unless the club decides to raise prices of tickets substantially.

Lucrative TV deals helped broadcast revenues gallop 33 per cent to £139.9m from £105.4m posted last financial year and with the new deal announced by Sky of £5.5 billion over the next few years this will only rise. A modest rise in UEFA distributions could be attributed to the club’s entry into the semi-finals of the championship last season. But earnings on this category could improve in the coming year keeping in light Chelsea’s splendid showing in the Champions League so far and the prospect of a progression beyond the Round of 16.

Commercial revenues in the 2013-14 season jumped a healthy 35 per cent to £113.5m. This was mainly driven by a 10-year kit deal struck with Adidas. An increase in the value of the shirt deal with Samsung and the addition of a host of commercial partners also helped. The expiry of the shirt deal with Samsung saw the entry of Yokohama Rubber as a profitable replacement. The deal worth £200m spread over a period of 5 years will alone probably help it get past 6th placed Manchester City in the Money League standings next year. The Yokohama deal is double of the £18m Samsung had paid annually for the previous shirt deal.

Leading the Premier League over Man City by a comfortable margin on the points table at the present, the Capital One Cup in the bag and could make an upward shift in rankings in the Deloitte’s list a real possibility. Among the traditional powerhouses of Europe, Chelsea’s fan base has grown the fastest, especially in the vastly potential Asian market. This has made it a magnet for huge sponsors, one example of which is Japanese tire-maker Yokohama.

The revenue gap with Manchester City is £22m, which Chelsea expects to bridge this coming season.

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 Posted by at 11:42 am
Mar 102015
 

In recent years, Chelsea Football Club has now become a home for Brazilians, so much that the blues made their second away jersey, which is Yellow and blue, and dedicated it to Brazil. With the likes of Alex, David Luiz, Willian, Oscar, Fillipe Luiz and Ramires, the blues would certainly be the first pick for any Brazillian. And the latest Brazilian interested in joining their ranks, is Douglas Costa. A player who is certainly going to boost Chelsea fc tickets sales and other commercial activities of the club.

The Shakhtar Donetsk player is said to be interested in joining the blues but London club, Chelsea are unwilling to meet Shakhtar’s valuation of the player. Aside that, the deal is still unlikely to happen as reports have it that, Roman Abramovich and Shakhtar owner Rinat Akhmetov have apparently fallen out somewhat during the Ukraine conflict, with each being loyal to different sides. According to Le10 Sport ( Translated by yours truly ), PSG are very interested in the player but they see Chelsea as a big threat to signing the player. According to the French media outlet, Chelsea have made a firm offer of €30m/£22m for the player which has not been rejected by his current club.

Douglas Costa who has not hidden his administration for Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, joined Shakhtar Donetsk in from Gremio in 2010, has been in fine form this season, which has attracted interests from a host of top European club sides including Arsenal and Manchester United.

An attacking midfielder’s role in the side is to create chances, assist goals and score some as well, Douglas Costa is able to do all three having scored twice and created 10 chances in Europe’s elite competition last season.

It is unsurprising that Costa wants to test himself at the highest level at this point of his career, and the jump to the Premier League is perfect for him as he enters his prime years as a footballer, But it is questionable whether Chelsea really need him when you consider their current stock of diminutive playmakers.

With Hazard and Oscar have improved this season with Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings behind, and though Costa would also benefit in this kind of set-up, the bench is a more likely option for the Brazilian.

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 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Mar 062015
 

Chelsea have moved ahead of the likes of Ajax and Arsenal to sign Romanian teenage sensation, Cristian Manea from Viitorul Constanta. Manea who is just 17 is said to have a bright future in the professional game, hence the blues splashed about £2.3 million on him.

Manea has developed quickly under the guidance of first team coach and former Romania captain Gheorghe Hagi, is expected to have signed what should be a 5 year deal, the blues are expected to loan him out immediately to either Dutch side, Vitesse, who Chelsea have a standing partnership with, or Spanish side Real Mallorca, to enable the young Romanian gain experience as well as playing time.

Although an unknown quantity, Manea is expected to develop into a world class talent and one day hold the right full back position for the Chelsea first team, something so many young defenders have been unable to do. We would recall a certain Brazilian, Wallace who Chelsea signed in 2012, but since then, the young right back only managed to play for the blues during their pre season tour of America, and subsequently was loaned to Inter Milan in Italy and frustrated with lack of playing time, returned to chelsea and has been again loaned to Dutch side, Vitesse.

Branislav Ivanovic has been the undisputed king of the right back spot at the bridge for many years, and even the presence of Spanish right back, Casera Azpilicueta has been unable to displace the Serbian International, rather, Azpilicueta has found a home in the left full back position, which fast tracked the exit of former England international, Ashley Cole, who was allowed to leave the club for free to join Roma in Italy.

At a time when the blues are turning their attention to youth rather than all finished articles, it is important for Cristian Manea to know what is up against, because many talented young players would tell you, it is not enough to just be a talent at Chelsea, without hard work, there would be be no further for you at the Bridge, because only the best make it into the Chelsea team.

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 Posted by at 4:00 pm
Mar 052015
 

With the injection of Arab money, Paris Saint-Germain is now a team to be feared in Europe. Despite finishing second to FC Barcelona in their Champions League group, one can’t write them off as an easy proposition. Although with a tactical coach like Laurent Blanc, PSG have struggled for form in the League this season, but watching them play in the Champions League, it’s hard to comprehend.

This is the second time in succession the French Champions have been drawn against Chelsea in the Champions league round of 16, although the Londoners won the tie last season, but it was not an easy game for the Blues by any means.

This season’s tie has proven not to be any different, in the first leg played in Paris, Chelsea struggled to create any chance and was fortunate to score with their only chance of the game and as the game progressed, Paris Saint-Germain began to create chance after chance and was unfortunate to take only one of them.

For Chelsea to progress the Blues need either a goalless draw or an outright win at home against the French side, but to do this, it is important for Mourinho to start with the right team, so they can take control of the game, something they were unable do especially in the second half of the first leg in France.

Over the years and across different countries, Jose Mourinho’s Champions League record has been less than impressive, with only two Champions League medals to his name, with FC Porto and Inter Milan respectively, the self-proclaimed “special one” would be keen on winning it with the club he loves so much, and with the talent at his disposal, with the likes of Diego Costa and Fabregas, as well as inform Belgians, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea would pose a real threat to PSG.

After his Man of the Match display against West Ham on Wednesday night, and for the first time this season, Jose Mourinho has come out to confirm the goal keeper who would start the next game. Despite claiming it was a difficult decision to make, because both keepers have been outstanding when given their chances this season, the Chelsea boss made it clear that the 22-year old Belgian International would be in-between the sticks for Chelsea, when they come up against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday. The Portuguese tactician told Sky Sports (quote via express.co.uk): “We have the two best goalkeepers in the country so it doesn’t matter (who starts).“Petr had the happiness of playing the final. Obviously I need to compensate that.“Courtois is doing so much so well for us so for the next couple of matches, this one [against West Ham] and the next one, the Champions League, he will play for sure.”

In my opinion, we can be sure of a fantastic display from Courtois, but in addition, Matic and Fabregas must return to the holding midfield area, with Cesc given more freedom and Ramires joining Hazard, Willian and Diego Costa up front.

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 Posted by at 12:31 pm
Feb 272015
 

Chelsea star striker Diego Costa is sure that the football association in England has told the referee’s to keep a close eye on him due to his physical style of play, yet says he is who he is and that he is not about to change how he plays football.

Costa created plenty of controversy last month when during the semi-final against Liverpool he stamped on Emre Can’s ankle and got away with it after referee Michael Oliver failed to see what had happened.

Video evidence however was sent to the FA who after viewing the incident decided to ban the Brazilian-born Spanish international for violent conduct which resulted in a three-match ban.

Despite the ban Costa who is ranked second favorite for the highest goal scorer award by virtually all soccer betting sites for UK players says he will not change his game and is looking forward to finding the back of the net when the Chelsea and Tottenham meet at Wembley for the Capital One Cup final on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m not going to change my way of playing,” said Costa. “I know I have to be a little bit more careful because it’s not the same when I do something, and when someone else does it. Something I do, it’s talked about much more than another player.

“I have to be extra careful, but I’m never going to change the way I play. That’s what got me here, that’s the way I play.”

“I’m not angry about the ban. It’s gone,” he said. “I still don’t even know why it happened, but it happened. Now I’m just trying to get back to my best physical form. You have to forget it.

“Now, I’m running a little bit behind after the suspension, trying to do my best, working hard and hopefully I’ll be 100 per cent.

“I joined a club like Chelsea to win titles. Finals are not there to play, they are to win. I’m hoping I can get my first title.

“Never mind the opposition. We all know we are a good team and we have the quality to win.”

Costa is one of the Premiership’s leading goal scorers with 17 goals so far this season, but has failed to score in any cup competitions or while playing in Champions League games. Despite not doing well in the champions league, putters would not go wrong to bet on him winning the goal scorer award in England especially when you consider Aguerro’s tendency to get injured at the tail end of the season. However, if you are a putter placing a place on Diego Costa or any other player, we advise you study the new UK soccer betting laws

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 Posted by at 7:21 pm
Jan 232015
 

Chelsea already boast of one of the strongest squad even if not the strongest in the EPL, and now reports are out that Chelsea are about to secure the signing of Colombian international and Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado. Looks like the deal can’t wait anymore as Mourinho is reportedly interested in pushing it forward in order to make his already strong squad more formidable.

However, the manager may need to ship out a player or two from his squad in order to accommodate the Colombian who was in spectacular form during the last FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Reports are rife in the media that Cuadrado’s agent was in London on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of a move to London. Now this would represent a massive message of intent and further reinforce the belief held by a lot of people that Chelsea are the uncrowned EPL Champions.

Chelsea already boast of players like Fabregas, Hazard, Costa, and the likes; adding Cuadrado to that squad will further make the team stronger.

Chelsea have a knack for getting transfers like this done and over the line regardless of how much is needed to get the player or the number of clubs interested in signing the same player, and that is why yours truly believes we can as well just consider this one a done deal – Mourinho gets what he wants most of the time. The manager is already making plans to sell or loan out Schurle and Salah, which will create space for the signing of the Fiorentina player.

£26.8million which is also the player’s buy-out clause is the fee being negotiated with the Italian club according to reports; the amount of money to be spent is very unlikely to pose any problem for the Blues as long as Schurrle and Salah can find clubs to sign them.

Italian club Roma have agreed to pay the £43,000 weekly wages of Salah, which leaving us with Schurrle, and hopefully his agent can find him a club soon.

Reports also claim Wolfsburg is willing to pay £23million for Schurrle, which gives further credence to the rumours linking Cuadrado to Chelsea.

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 Posted by at 11:18 am
Dec 162014
 

Chelsea and AC Milan have been dealt a huge blow after it was reported that young midfielder Marco Van Ginkel could be out of action for up to two months after suffering another ankle injury.

The highly rated Dutch starlet is currently on loan at Italian club AC Milan and the club have reported the player could be out of action until 2015 after sustaining an ankle injury from a tackle by team mate Sulley Muntari during training.

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani saidI am really sorry for Van Ginkel”

What a pity. After 30 years of watching training sessions, I know that he is a player with a great talent.

We hope he will recover as soon as possible and that he is able to showcase his talent. He has extraordinary feet, he is a good person and intelligent. All my best wishes for him for a speedy recovery in order to give a helping hand in our team.

Milan boss Filippo Inzaghi also expresses his disappointment at the player’s injury.

Its a shame. It was a hard challenge but not premeditated, Inzaghi said.

The first one to apologise was Sulley. If we didnt train as intensely as we do, then we wouldnt win games. It wasnt a killer tackle, otherwise I would have intervened.

We are disappointed because we lose a player that would have played and who was going through a good spell.

Our thoughts are with Marco, its sad to see him leave with crutches.

This will be the second time Van Ginkel would be injuring his ankle since moving to AC Milan on loan from Chelsea in the summer. He picked up an ankle injury earlier in the season in his first appearance for the club against Empoli back in September.

Marco’s young career has been blighted with injuries lately. The player who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2013 in a fee of around 8 million from Eredevisie side Vitesse Arnhem was forced to miss large proportions of 2013/14 season as well as the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Chelsea against Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup in September 2013.

He has only represented Chelsea four times since joining the club. His injury last season at the club meant he didn’t see much action or break in into the team.

Abundance of talents especially in the midfield area enabled Jose Mourinho loan him out to AC Milan at the start of current season to get more playing time. That plan however, seem not to be going as expected as injury has not allowed the player to play at his full potential at his new club.

News of recent injury will come as a huge blow to the player, the parent club Chelsea and AC Milan. Chelsea and the player would have wanted to use the loan opportunity to see the player get more game time and develop his game in a higher and relatively competitive league than the Eredevisie.

Chelsea could have the player return to London to get a better treatment for his injury before returning to Italy to complete his loan. Marco is an intelligent player and has the potentials to be one of the best midfielders in time to come. Even at his tender age he has shown his qualities which have seen him draw attention from big clubs and a call up to the Dutch national team.

Everyone (Chelsea, AC Milan and the player himself) will hope he gets over this injury and forge a good career at Chelsea and become of the best in his position in no distant time.

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 Posted by at 7:34 pm
Nov 242014
 

With speculation mounting regarding Reus’ proposed move to Chelsea, and with Jose Mourinho said to have contacted the German’s agent personally, a transfer to Stamford Bridge is looking increasingly likely every day.

Already, we are aware of Chelsea’s wealth of talent in the attacking band and Reus will have competition if he eventually moves to London. However what a lot of fans seem to be curious about, is if and were the 25 year old will fit in the grand scheme of things at the Bridge.

Marco Reus is one of the best players in the world at the moment. He missed out on the German world cup winning team after picking up an injury in a warm up match just before the competition and has been picking up small niggling injuries ever since.

Apart from being a brilliant player when going forward, the German’s work ethic is also renowned and the 25 year old seems like he will fit seamlessly into an already very hard working side.

Chelsea seem to be too reliant on the magic of Eden Hazard to bring them out sticky situations and the addition of Marco Reus will give defenders another grade A player to focus on.

Reus also has an amazing goal scoring record for Dortmund, scoring 47 times in 99 games for the Bundesliga side, since joining them in 2012. This is in sharp contrast to anything Chelsea’s current attackers produce, with a prime example being Andre Schurrle who has scored just 11 goals in 54 games for the English side.

However in this current Chelsea team, the German winger is most likely to replace the Brazilian Willian, who has scored a disappointing 5 goals in his 54 games. Although Willian is said to be the best defensive winger in the League, Reus can fill in for him in this regard without a significant drop in defensive contribution.

Replacing Willian will not be as easy as it looks, with the diminutive Brazilian being a Mourinho favorite. Although Reus is already a very hard working player, he will be joining an English side that is even more work oriented. One thing is clear though, the German brings more defensively than the Belgian Hazard currently does.

Reus will not find it hard to adapt to the Chelsea system as his current side plays a similar counter attacking game.

Jose Mourinho probably feels he needs extra quality in his band of three, with Schurrle being so inconsistent and Willian contributing so little to Chelsea’s attack.

Reus would add a new found threat that doesn’t exist at the moment for Chelsea. The attacking midfield trio of Hazard, Oscar and Reus behind Costa, is the stuff of dreams and the London based side would automatically become the best team on paper in the League. Although it is noteworthy to include the fact that the Blues look set to win this year’s League title with or without the German’s inclusion.

However, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea will likely have to wait till the summer as the winger picked up an injury in his side’s last match, that will see him ruled out till February next year.

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 Posted by at 12:00 pm
Nov 242014
 

Chelsea are edging closer to capturing the signature of young French central defender Raphael Varane. The 22-year old Real Madrid defender was linked to the Blues all summer but it has emerged that a winter move could be possible as Chelsea owner Roman Abrahamovic has stepped in to help Mourinho finance the move for the highly rated defender.

Abrahamovic seems pleased with the good work Mourinho has done in the club since taking over last summer especially with the Portuguese’s summer signings lightning up the Premier league with their rich form, and is bent on financing any further signing Mourinho would want to make irrespective of the cost.

Varane has been identified as a possible long term replacement for Chelsea captain John Terry and also as a long term defensive partner to compatriot Kurt Zouma who is already showing his good qualities at Chelsea this season.

Terry will be 34 next month and is almost at the twilight of his Chelsea career and the club has already set out to find the right replacement for the long serving skipper. Chelsea have been linked to Gerard Pique but Mourinho seem to prefer Raphael Varane whom he brought and worked with while at Real Madrid.

Chelsea will look to move for the player as early as this winter transfer window and the 19million asking price from Real Madrid won’t be a huge problem especially with the Russian Billionaire owner backing the move.

Mourinho won’t have any problem convincing the young defender to move to Stamford Bridge as he has worked with the player before and both have a good relationship till date.

It was Jose Mourinho who signed Varane from french side RC Lens in the summer of 2011 and gave the young prodigy his big break at top flight football at Bernabue benching stalwart like Pepe for the young French defender.

Varane has however find action limited since the departure of the Portuguese manager as new Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti seems to prefer the defensive pair of Pepe and Ramos in central defence.

A move to West London is one Varane would welcome with open arms even as the prospect of working again with Jose Mourinho could be too tempting to turn down.

Varane, a calm and composed figure at the heart of defence is one of the best central defender of his age presently in football. His ability to intelligently read games is such a quality very rare in players of his age. His move to Chelsea would be a huge upgrade to the Chelsea’s back-line.

He will make a good parnership with Gary Cahill when John Terry calls it quit in football at Chelsea, and having him and already-impressive Kurt Zouma lead the line from behind for Chelsea in the nearest future means the club can look into the future with great optimism.

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 Posted by at 10:43 am
Nov 212014
 

In what has become a normal transfer speculation in the past two seasons, the Premier League has once again been placed on high alert as top clubs in England such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have once again been linked with one of Sporting Lisbon’s most valuable players in the mould William Carvalho.

The Portuguese Midfielder is built like a tank and is regarded as the next big thing in the defensive midfield position. A mainstay in the Lisbon side for a couple of years now despite his age, the 22 year old is not short on admirers.

One pertinent question that most Chelsea fans seem to be asking is; is he really needed? Does the powerfully built midfielder fill a void within the team at all?

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the youngster’s qualities and then decide if Chelsea really needs his services;

With at least 5 Premier League clubs reportedly keen, Sporting acted to secure 100 percent of the player’s ownership from his previous third party owners.

William stands just shy of 6’2” tall and makes good use of his imposing frame to play the holding midfielder role- arguably the most important position in modern football to near perfection.

As with all good players, William seems to have more time on the ball than everyone else on the pitch … this is despite being stationed in the thick of the midfield action. No matter how fast or how skillful the adversary is, when coming up against William, it is the Sporting man that invariably emerges with the ball.

His composure and superb positioning, means he is rarely under pressure. The youngster isn’t afraid to utilize his physical prowess when need be, as several bruised opponents can attest to weight of one of his crunching tackles.

If the above description seems overly familiar as a Blues supporter, that’s probably because every single defensive attribute listed above can apply seamlessly to the Serbian Nemanja Matic, the difference being that the towering Serbian can do all that, and much more.

Carvalho’s distribution is frequently wayward and lacks the ambition that a good pass from deep should have, as he prefers the sideways pass to a more vertical approach. This type of play does not help Sporting’s set up, where practically all the attacking is channeled down the wings.

Now if this latest description also sounds very familiar, that’s because it is reminiscent of the Nigerian John Mikel Obi. The Nigerian is an equally competent defensive player with underwhelming attacking capabilities.

It does seem a bit ill advised to spend 37million pounds attempting to purchase a player who is only a slight upgrade on Mikel. Although even this is up for debate, as Mikel has tested himself amongst the best and is much more experienced.

So the question is, if the Sporting midfielder isn’t going to break into the first team and is sure to be behind Fabregas and Matic in the pecking order, then why pay so much money for a back up when the Nigerian can at least play that role without too many major hiccups?

So to finally answer the question, the Blues do not in any way need William Carvalho, although I am fairly certain he may do wonders for Arsenal.

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 Posted by at 5:01 pm