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Chelsea - the future is bright - 04/07/2003

The deal which saw Roman Abramovich arrive at Stamford has taken most people by surprise. I’m convinced it’s a massive boost for the club and with the cash injection and subsequent promise of new faces, it’s also a very exciting time to be a Chelsea fan. There doesn’t appear to be any hidden agenda, Abramovich has stated that he ‘wants to have some fun’ and to win trophies – music to ears of everyone connected to Stamford Bridge!

Credit must also go to Ken Bates, he’s the guy who’s taken the club this far and I’m happy that he’s keeping his interest. Chelsea are a wonderful club, have a magnificent stadium, it’s a great area of London, and the fan base is huge – this is largely down to Bates. In selling his controlling interest he’s been big enough to step aside for the benefit of the club…and there’s been plenty of club Chairman over the years who’ve resisted similar, if not considerably smaller, takeovers. The fans should be aware that bringing in such investment was, and is, a very good piece of business for all concerned.

The immediate signings of John Terry and Carlton Cole just go to show that the Russian has made a positive impact right from the off. We’ll see if William Gallas follows the lead of the aforementioned, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t. The papers are full of speculation as to who will join the club, Henry, Viera, Kluivert, Kewell, Nesta, and Shevchenko…but they can’t all sign! The only sad piece of news is the departure of Gianfranco Zola – a truly great player who has deservedly won all sorts of personal accolades during his time in England. I think fans from up and down the country will be sorry to see him leave the Premiership. He’s a special type of guy and a special type of player. Personally I can understand his decision, he’s left on a high after enjoying a fantastic year last season and he’ll be remembered in a very positive light.

In some respects the pressure is now on Claudio Ranieri, he now has great resources to take the club to a new level. However the new owner will be expecting results – not immediately, but pretty soon. Perhaps similar pressure will also benefit Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. In my opinion both of them under performed last season. They are two top quality players, and at their best can rightly be seen as possibly the best partnership in the country. They’ll want to be part of next chapter of Chelsea history, and to play a major role they’ll have to perform to their optimum ability. It’s an exciting time for Chelsea fans, lets enjoy it.

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