Or spend a few weeks in Chelsea’s reserves, which to my mind is exactly the same thing, as William Gallas is about to find out. Having told the club already that he is not going to join them in the USA for their tour, Mourinho is determined to make him pay.
The rumours have already started that Gallas is going to be a makeweight in the Ashley Cole deal which I would be delighted with. Gallas plus £5m would be fine, solving the major question mark about the squad and allowing Toure to be used as a reserve Central Midfielder if the need arose. I doubt Chelsea would go for it having let Huth depart (although this is initially on loan) as it would leave them exposed in terms of world class defenders but Smooth Dave and Co should at least have a go at including him any deal. Start at Wills plus £10m and allow yourselves to be negotiated downwards.
On the subject of the “Blue Menace”, they really do not learn. Ken Bates has reported them for allegedly tapping up three of
Leeds youngsters last season. The players in question, Michael Woods, Tom Taiwo (who both signed for Chelsea) and Danny Rose (who did not), were all youngsters on the Elland Road books at the time. Not content with complaining to the media about his former club’s behaviour, Bates has reported Chelsea to the Premier League, The Football Association and FIFA. Unsurprisingly, the only ones he has left out are UEFA but more on them another day. This raises for Chelsea the prospect of the brown stuff really hitting the fan. The legacy of their illicit dealings with Ashley Cole was a suspended 3 point deduction for any recurrence of the offence in 2005 – 06 season. Guess when this happened?
One thing to bear in mind is that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Unlike many of his counterparts, Bates is not publicly intimidated by the wealth of Roman Abramovich. Having sold the club to him, it was surprising that the Russian kept Bates on in an honorary position. That ended in tears and one thing was for certain, it would be only a matter of time before the perceived wrongs would be repaid. Against that backdrop, this complaint needs to be viewed somewhat sceptically. I do not doubt Ken Bates grievance but it is at present a matter of perception. His view is as he sees it at present. Whilst Chelsea may well have bent the rules to breaking point, it does not mean they are broken. Dubious business practices lead to questions of ethics. Over the fullness of time, we will no doubt find out whether the rules have been broken but it is symptomatic of the way that Chelsea now does business (and of their profile) that everything is under scrutiny. It is amazing that they took so long to understand that.