Why Chelsea Owner Abramovich Missed FA Cup Final

Russian state media on Sunday cited an unconfirmed report that Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich’s British visa has run out, while his spokesman declined to comment.

Russian state news agency TASS and other media picked up a report on The Bell website, which said an acquaintance of Abramovich and two in his inner circle had told it the billionaire’s British visa ran out three weeks ago and he is waiting for a new one.

Amid a spiralling diplomatic crisis between Britain and Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent, there have been calls in Britain for sanctions that would hurt super-rich Russians who have homes in London.

British Security Minister Ben Wallace in February said Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption would be forced to explain their wealth in a new clampdown on organised crime

Abramovich formally has residency in Jersey in the Channel Islands, a tax haven, but has never taken it up. The Sunday Times put his wealth at 9.3 billion pounds ($12.5 billion) on its Rich List this year. He has owned Chelsea since 2003.

Abramovich’s spokesman John Mann told AFP he could not comment because “it’s a personal issue.” Mann gave the same response to TASS.

The Home Office in London told AFP it would not comment on the report because it does not comment on individual cases.

The Bell published the Russian-language report on Sunday. It said it had received “no comment” responses from Abramovich’s spokesman and the Home Office.

The report quoted a source in Abramovich’s entourage as saying that Britain had not refused to issue a new visa to Abramovich but was considering his application.

Russia’s Sport-Express website cited sources in Abramovich’s entourage as saying that it had taken a long time for his application to be processed but he was due to get a new British visa shortly.

RBC media group quoted a source close to Abramovich as also saying the application process was taking longer than usual and “the reason for this is unclear.”

The Bell was started by the former editor-in-chief of RBC media group, Elizaveta Osetinskaya. Under her leadership, RBC was known for high-profile investigations.

AFP

It’s the end of the road for Lampard,Cole at Chelsea with Benitez as coach

Just two days into his new job as Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez has started to break-up the Champions League-winning team by telling legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole that they are to leave at the end of the season.

Both players are out of contract next summer and Chelsea’s new coach said they won’t stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

Chelsea captain John Terry is already on his way out of Stamford Bridge with the European champions not prepared to renew his current contract.

Chelsea’s bid for Paulinho rejected

European champions; Chelsea got a disappointing news on what would have been  another move to fortify their 2012 squad after it was announced by Brazilian club Corinthians that Brazilian midfielder Paulinho whom Chelsea has been after for a while now has signed a new contract with the club.

Although, speculations are that the move is to find ways to increase the stakes on the  24-year-old, that is larger fee for his services in the future.

Corinthians dismissed the thought of selling their star to the Premier League club, as  Corinthians’ President Mario Gobbi Filho insisted that no bid will be consider for the midfielder as they want to hold on to their man.

“We have renewed his contract and we have adjusted it, now it is at a level appropriate for Paulinho and the market’.

We have no intention to sell him; it is out of the question.

“We have a cycle that lasts until July and we renewed his contract to keep him, not to sell him”

“We do not want to transfer any player in January.”

The midfield anchor man has been in impressive form of late attracting the interest of many European clubs.

Alongside the Blues, Inter Milan are rumoured to be monitoring the situation closely with the club’s bosses keen to add depth to their squad.

Paulinho, who won his first international cap last year, has made six outings for Brazil notching two goals.

Racial slur will mark Clattenburg’s end in officiating if found guilty – Winter

Jeff Winter; former Premier League referee on one of the thrilling events that encapsulated Sunday’s EPL clash between Chelsea and Manchester United in Stamford bridge which is the allegation of racial abuse brought against  the officiating referee Mark Clattenburg by Mikel Obi and Juan Mata during the game.

An official complaint was lodged by the West London club over the alleged use of ‘inappropriate language’ by referee Clattenburg that was directed at two of their players, Mikel Obi and Juan Mata.

It was reported by a major British newspaper that Clattenburg has been accused of making a racial slur towards Mikel and called Mata a ‘Spanish t**t’.

If the allegations are true then Clattenburg is never going to get a game to officiate ever again and rightly so, but if it is true, where does it leave the game?

Officiating referee of the English Premier League?

It was reported that Mikel went to the referee’s dressing room to demand an apology following the match, with chief executive Ron Gourlay and manager Roberto Di Matteo.

According to the former EPL referee, Clattenburg’s position will be untenable if he’s found guilty of the offence, that “If a match official has used racial insults or language to a player then he’s for the high jump. He won’t be getting a four-match or an eight-match ban, it’ll probably be the end of his career, but that is if indeed he did say anything.”

“I feel it very unlikely that Mark Clattenburg would be allowed to referee until it’s dealt with so we certainly don’t want this going on for weeks and months.”

Talking racial abuse that has been lingering for a long while in the British football community for a while now with the recent case  between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand which has generated so much uproar, this again will run and run with so much discord. he said

To go into investigations, television pictures will be scrutinised and reports suggest that a number of players heard the alleged comments, whilst the other officials Michael McDonough, Simon Long and Michael Jones could be crucial as they were all wearing microphones during the game.

Victor Moses ready to play ‘Striker’ role for Chelsea

As Ivorian and former Chelsea Striker Didier Drogba decided to leave Stamford Bridge last season after their Champions League victory, the striking role fell upon the laps of the Spaniard Fernando Torres by default ad to assert that, no striker was signed up. But a little into the new season Torres has returned his days of underperformance with dismal performances against QPR, Juventus and Stoke City and he has been under heavy criticism of late.

Manager Di Matteo and Chelsea owner probably decided against signing a replacement for Didier Drogba but their hope of his replacement; Fernando Torres has probably not been playing to expectation as Di Mattio attention turned to Danny Sturridge who unfortunately is now struggling with armstring injury ,opening the chance of every possibility for new signing Victor Moses to fill up that role.

The Nigerian international in response said he will be willing and ready to play the striking role for Chelsea if Manager Roberto Di Matteo will let him as he is up to the task.

Victor Moses said position change on field comes naturally to him as he really does not mind what position he plays from as he is very versatile.

Former Chelsea winger Trevor Sinclair recently urged Moses to ease the scoring burden on the out-of-form Torres. The Spaniard, however, is expected to start the game against Arsenal at Ashburton Grove on 29 September.

We have ourselves to blame for Juventus draw – Di Matteo

Chelsea Manager Roberto Di Matteo reacted to the poor finish of the Blues at home in Stamford Bridge against Italian club Juventus in their first game of the UEFA Champions League Campaign for the 2012/2013 season.

Di Matteo said Chelsea is blaming itself for blowing a two-goal lead and making the title defence sloppy from the start of the campaign after giving up the lead to settle for a draw against Juventus ending the game 2-2.

From the start, Chelsea proved to be ready for their title defence with debutant Oscar scoring a stunning first-half double, but the Italian champions ruthlessly exposed the holders’ defensive deficiencies to snatch a Group E draw at Stamford Bridge, with Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella on target.

Chelsea’s defending was bad enough when Juventus pulled a goal back through Vidal before half-time. But just when it looked as if the holders had done enough to hang on, they went missing again, with John Obi Mikel giving the ball away and failing to track back with David Luiz straying away making impossible to stop Quagliarella whose goal drew level for Juventus.

Di Matteo said he thinks Chelsea should have dealt with it a little bit better as there was no pressure on the ball and it was pretty difficult to play offside.

The Chelsea Manager said Chelsea lost possession just beforehand and should have reacted much quicker to losing the ball than his team did even though Chelsea played some good stuff but loose the ball a bit too cheaply.

Oscar was sensational in term so good football in a two-minute spell just past the half-hour mark. Di Matteo raised eyebrows by handing the £25million Brazil star his full debut but it proved an inspired selection.

The 21-year-old’s opening goal owed a lot to the kind of luck Chelsea enjoyed in spades en route to their Champions League triumph but his second was the kind of spectacular strike that would have had billionaire Roman Abramovich drooling.

Di Matteo said it was a great debut for Oscar and he thought it was the right game to start him and he did a perfect job tactically because he proved that by scoring two goals and the second one was a wonderful goal. He is a big talent and he has got a bit of everything.

Champions League: Juventus 2-2 draw dampens Chelsea

European champions, Chelsea were left stunned by Italian Club Juventus last night at Stamford Bridge as the visitor rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw, thanks to Fabio Quagliarella’s brace in the 80th minute souring the Blues’ Champions League title defense.

Chelsea’s Oscar scored on long-range shots in the 31st and 33rd minutes, the first deflecting off Leonardo Bonucci into the corner of the net and the second a superb curler from the edge of the penalty area.

Arturo Vidal reduced the deficit in the 38th for Juventus, making its return to the competition after a three-year absence. Quagliarella tied the score six minutes after entering the match.

Chelsea Manager lamented saying “We are disappointed and a little bit deflated to get in a great position to win the game and come away with only a draw,”

The Manager said further that Chelsea should have closed the game.

Essien moves to Real Madrid on season-long loan

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien joined Spanish champions Real Madrid on loan on transfer deadline day.

The Ghanaian re-joins former Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who brought him to England in 2005, at the Bernabeu.

The 29-year-old has often been touted as a box-to-box midfielder for his ability to exert boundless energy in supporting offensive and defensive play.

Essien can also play as a centre-back.

Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in his home country. In 2000, he moved to France joining SC Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003.

At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles in 2003–04 and 2004–05 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. During his five-year stint in France, he acquired French citizenship.

In 2005, Essien signed with Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history.

At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League in 2006 and 2010, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup. In 2008, he appeared in the UEFA Champions League Final. He has won the Chelsea Goal of the season award twice, in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons.

A Ghanaian international, Essien started at youth level as he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up.

Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16. He is often referred to as the Bison for his tough tackling style, boundless energy and physical presence on the pitch.

Torres says he’s happy playing for Chelsea FC

Spaniard and Chelsea striker; Fernando Torres  denied reports that he is unhappy at Chelsea and will be  leaving the club.

Rather Torres said he is ready to fulfil the dreams with the Stamford Bridge club as he admitted that he initially lost hope after his arrival at the club.

With the exit of Didier Drogba and the express anointing of the Spaniard by the Ivorien, the £50million British record transfer was given the ideal opportunity to secure his position as first-choice striker after a difficult 16 months since leaving Liverpool.

Still on the path of rediscovering his old form while at Anfield as he could only score 12 goals for Chelsea this season, he said he is very confident that his best is yet to come and he is very happy with his club and there no distractions as the media reported earlier.

He said he knows there is a lot to be done right now at Chelsea because it has been a difficult year for him at Chelsea because he didn’t feature much this season though he believed that he was meant to have more playtime and he was not really happy about it and he is doing everything not to return to that phase.

‘It was with great expectations that Chelsea signed me from Liverpool and the confidence of the owner and the fans has been unconditional, but my role in the team has not followed that line’ Torres said.

The Spain international went 24 matches without scoring this season before finally ending his five-month goal drought with two goals in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final win over Leicester.

For a player who has excelled at hitting the net at both Liverpool and before then at Atletico Madrid, it became almost a psychological problem.

Torres concluded saying he has fulfilled his dream with winning the Champions League in a season where he almost lost hope on everything including his playing career but he will not surrender as he wants to return back to his glory days and fulfil the expectations of Abramovich and Chelsea fan alike.

Drogba tags Torres ‘The Future’ of Chelsea

Exit-bound Stamford Bridge striker; Didier Drogba has anointed Fernando Torres as the next forward man to shine next season with Chelsea after he finally confirmed his exit from the club today.

The Spaniard was described by the Ivorien as the next big thing that will emerge from Chelsea.

Drogba who was the hero during the Champions League Final played in Munich as Chelsea emerged first time winners of the title, scored the equalising goal and the penalty shot that sealed victory for the Stamford Bridge confirmed his exit from Stamford Bridge just four days after said he really doesn’t know why he was never paired with the Spaniard upfront more often.

Torres, signed for £50m from Liverpool in January 2011, has failed to hold down a regular starting spot in his first full season in west London and earlier this week said he wants reassurances over his role at the club from Chelsea’s owners.

But Drogba, 34, is convinced the Spain striker will stay at Stamford Bridge and has backed him to shine next season.

The Ivorien said his relationship with Torres is very good but he’s still bothered why they weren’t paired on field most time which said he is leaving in the past because he is moving on.

Giving his opinion on what he feels about Torres’ fitness this season he said it’s been a difficult season for him but he showed in a few games but he is very sure that next season is going to be his season for he is the future here at Stamford Bridge.

“We have a very good relationship and we didn’t understand why we didn’t play together more, but that’s the past.

Chelsea to loot for Eden Hazard as he decides future tonight

Chelsea are ready to capitalise on their Champions League success by making a big money move for Lille playmaker Eden Hazard who has attracted interest from across Europe with his displays this season, admitted recently that his future does not lie at the Stade Metropole.

Representatives of Manchester City and Manchester United are expected to hold talks with Lille; the Belgian’s agent was in London yesterday.

Blues owner Russian Roman Abramovich believes that a £30m fee will be enough for the 21 year old to move to Stamford Bridge and Hazard is expected to be offered £250,000 a week on a five year deal.

Chelsea will now be in contention for the signature of the 21-year old with the two Manchester clubs.

Abramovich and his chief executive Ron Gourlay will have to put together an attractive package to bring the Belgian international to West London for he stated earlier that he will possibly be moving to Manchester City next season.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard was reported to have decided to make a final decision tonight as to whether he will be playing with Chelsea, Manchester United or English Premier League winners, Manchester City.

Hazard is a hot commodity in the market in the EPL, as he has played impressive football with Lille this season. In 37 games, Hazard has netted 17 goals, recorded 16 assists and got off 101 shots in the process.

Hazard is an elusive dribbler that is as quick as anyone in football in the attacking end of the pitch. At just 21 years of age, the young Belgian talent is among the world’s best footballers with his top-notch play.

His goal-scoring abilities and control of the ball are scary for opponents to have to handle to say the least. Hazard is as “hazardous” as they come with the ball in his possession.

With such developed and strong programs to choose from, there is no question Hazard will be able to prosper significantly well over the next several seasons.

Di Matteo has transformed Chelsea’s fortunes – Ron Gourlay

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has hailed the performance of interim manager of the club Roberto Di Matteo saying it is a the ‘phenomenal turnaround’ of the club’s fortunes but  has refused to endorse Roberto Di Matteo for the permanent manager’s position following last night’s historic Champions League victory.

The Blues won the Champions League for the first time in a thrilling 4-3 penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.

The win, which follows the 2-1 defeat of Liverpool in the FA Cup final two weeks ago, is even more remarkable given the precarious position the team were in when Di Matteo was appointed until the end of the season after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in March.

‘It’s been an incredible few months and a great ending last night with winning the trophy,’ Gourlay said after owner Roman Abramovich finally saw the club he has invested £1 billion in since taking over in 2003 win the Champions League.

‘The performances and results weren’t there so we had to make the change, we brought Robbie in as interim manager until the end of the season and we’ve seen a phenomenal change and a run of results which finished last night with winning the Champions League,’ Gourlay  said.

On whether the Italian had done enough to be get the job for next season, the chief executive added: ‘There’s a number of things we’ve got to look at and we’ll review where we are and take it from there, but it’s a phenomenal turnaround really.’

Blues chairman Bruce Buck meanwhile assured Di Matteo of ‘serious consideration’.

‘He’s done an amazing job, Robbie, he’s enabled the players to get back the confidence they used to have and he’s really got the players performing,’ he said.

‘We’ve put [managerial speculation] aside for the last six or eight weeks, concentrating on [semi-final opponents] Barcelona, the FA Cup and Bayern Munich, but I think now we have to sit down and figure that out.

‘Roberto is certainly in the mix; he’s done a great job and has to have serious consideration.’

Buck, who said the club would appoint a new manager ‘sooner rather than later’, went on to say: ‘We really need to get the new manager on board before we can start talking about signing players.’

The future of one of the central figures of last night’s triumph, Didier Drogba, is also uncertain, with the Ivorian striker who scored the equaliser in normal time and the winning penalty out of contract this summer.

‘Didier is a big-match player and he did it once again,’ Buck said of the 34-year-old.

‘I think Ron Gourlay is going to sit down with his agent this week and we’ll see where it goes.

‘We have to do what’s best for Chelsea Football Club and Didier had to do what’s best for him, we’ll just see how the discussions go.’