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Kenyon Defends Chelsea's Fat Pockets

After a presentation from Sepp Blatter at the Soccerex business convention in Dubai, during which the FIFA president said professional clubs should field no less than six domestically produced players per game in their starting eleven, Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon felt the need to defend his club. The Chelsea executive stated that the club mainly targets English players and that it was deliberately keeping its squad down to 23 players in order to allow everyone to contribute. "We have taken a conscious decision that the core of our team should be English," said Kenyon, although Chelsea only made a single English addition to its squad of 23 in the offseason this year. Nevertheless, Kenyon said the club was simply taking advantage of market forces, denying that Chelsea acted against the best interests of the game in its off-season maneuvering. He added that it spends some $9 million per season on its academy, but this is just a fraction of what the club would normally spend on an individual player acquisition. Indeed, Chelsea's "English" squad (six of the 23 are English) might soon be reduced by one after the European transfer market opens in January. Shaun Wright-Phillips, purchased from Manchester City for $38 million in 2004 in order to sit on the bench for two seasons, looks set to leave Stamford Bridge to West Ham. Kenyon agreed that quotas, like the one proposed by Blatter, should be imposed, but "imposing how many you have to play in any XI, that's too prohibitive," he said.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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