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Kenyon Speaks....


bjd

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KENYON SPEAKS

Posted on: Sun 27 Jul 2008

While on tour in Asia, Peter Kenyon has been discussing some of the major issues affecting Chelsea, and football in general.

The chief executive was interviewed by Les Murray, one of the most eminent journalists in Asian sport, for the Sydney Sun-Herald. Australia is now a part of the Asian Football Confederation, with which we hold close links.

Having been to the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Macau, the squad is now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the final leg of the 2008 Samsung Chelsea Asia tour.

The club's activity in the transfer market has been closely watched over the summer, and Kenyon explained Chelsea's position on players linked with moves to (Robinho), and firstly away from (Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Andriy Shevchenko), the club.

'Negotiations are ongoing with regards to Frank, but we expect all of them to start the season. We've brought in José Bosingwa, we've signed Deco, but we need one more player, and we're definitely showing interest in Robinho,' he said.

As for AC Milan playmaker Kaka, Kenyon could offer less news. He said: 'We have made no bids despite what media reports say. Milan insist he is not for sale.'

After a positive start under the guidance of Luiz Felipe Scolari, expectations within the club are high, not just about success but also style.

'The first objective was to improve the infrastructure and win trophies. It's what our fans want and we succeeded. But football's about entertainment and we want to play good football,' he began.

'The most attractive football across Europe last season was played by a couple of teams. We want to be a team that wins things in style and that's about the club growing up. If you look at a Madrid, a Milan, a Barcelona, you look at a Manchester United, they've all been successful but they're all teams with an identity and known for their style.

'That's what we want to achieve.'

Kenyon also explained the driving force of owner Roman Abramovich, and how he wants the club to progress, both on and off the field.

'It's important that we?align with what the owner wants. When he bought Chelsea, he wanted it to be not just a successful football club but for it to be a force for good,' Kenyon reasoned.

'He recognises how powerful sport can be in changing the social aspects of life and the influences it has on youth. That, philosophically, is very much Roman Abramovich.'

In addition, Kenyon declared that the Russian 'watches more football than anyone I know, and not just Chelsea. He is absolutely absorbed by the sport.'

That is a phrase that could also apply to the loyal Chelsea supporters that have followed the team around Asia so far on the tour. Joe Cole praised them after the Chengdu Blades match on Saturday, and Kenyon had good news for supporters in this part of the world.

Speaking regarding the possibility of visiting Australia in the future, Kenyon believed some compromise could be reached.

'This year we're already in China, then in Malaysia. We know the passion for sport in Australia and we hope within the next couple of years to include a trip to Australia or at least play against an Australian team somewhere in Asia.

'Part of our overall club objective was to be recognised by 2014 as the world's No.1 club. There are two dimensions to that: one, success on the field and ultimately winning the Champions League; two, developing Chelsea for all parts of the world. Asia is a priority in doing that.'

Kenyon also spoke on issues surrounding the Premier League.

Asked whether he would like the tag of 'big four' to be a thing of the past with the emergence of other clubs, he responded: 'No, because we're one of the four. But seriously, if you look across Europe, other major leagues are dominated by one, two or three teams, so it's too easy to say this is a Premier League issue.'

As a means of promoting home-grown talent and limiting the dominance of some clubs, suggestions have come from FIFA that clubs should be limited to fielding five foreign players.

It is something that as a club we have moved to distance ourselves from.

'I don't think there is any appetite for it across Europe. It will not solve the problem. We shouldn't dumb down and use artificial ways to get an even platform,' he said.

'Other teams in England should be knocking on our door: teams like Tottenham, Newcastle, Villa, Everton. It's not about us coming down to their level.'

The controversial issue of the 39th Premier League game also came up during the interview, and Kenyon explained the clubs' stance.

'It was really only a question of evaluating and asking how the league can reach its international supporter base. There's a real appetite around the world for the Premier League.

'It was always only in an evaluation stage and that's what everybody signed up to do, not to go ahead and do it. But just because it's a bit revolutionary I don't think we should say it's necessarily a bad idea.'

Chelsea's Asian tour continues in Kuala Lumpur with a match against a Malasyian Select XI on Tuesday, before the squad fly to Moscow for the Russian Railways Cup, where we will meet Lokomotiv Moscow and one of either Sevilla or AC Milan

Very unlike Chelsea to comment on a player before anything is definite but it certainly does look like we are going to end up with Robinho.

Notice he didnt comment on the piss poor crowds for our games.

I really, really dont like Kenyon. You just know he likes Phil Collins.

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Spoken like a true businessman, and that is what he is. He makes some valid points, and I love the little dig at Tottenham about us coming down to their level! But "Chelsea as a force of good?" We are to be seen as a guiding light for youth across Europe? Then how about one of our star players not getting sent of in teh CL final!

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Its a sanitised but decent enough comment. I fully back the move towards more expansive football as for two years my arse has been getting numb in the Matthew Harding lower watching us "keeping it tight and hitting the big man".

I have no great problem with what he has said here. All sounds fair enough.

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