Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kenyon: All This Flak Is Because We're Best

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Kenyon: All This Flak Is Because We're Best

Article excerpt

Byline: LEO SPALL

IN the space of just six weeks Peter Kenyon seems to have given up hope that Chelsea will one day be loved. Talk of winning the hearts and minds of the wider football community has been replaced by a resignation that many will always want them to fail.

Charges that the team are out of control and have been taking acting lessons has compounded building hostility towards them, but today those issues do not add up to an image problem for the chief executive.

As far as Kenyon is concerned, people are "getting it out of proportion".

The romantic side he showed in February has lost out to the pragmatist of March.

He said "The image is not as bad as people think. We are not downbeat about it. There is an element that we are in this situation because we are top.

"We are now being benchmarked against the best in the world almost for everything we do and that brings the bar up to another level.

"We are here to stay and we have to get used to it. You cannot be knee jerk about these things. You cannot afford to ignore it but you cannot allow it to rule what you are doing today. You have to accept it and move on."

Chelsea are not sitting on their hands as far as their image is concerned.

Kenyon addressed their public perception while launching a series of schemes for the disabled, including free entrance at Stamford Bridge next season.

But he has been reminded in the last six weeks that their gains will be limited while the head coach decides his own public relations policy.

Jose Mourinho has not been at his charming best during that time, falling out with Bryan Robson at West Brom and becoming a hatefigure in Barcelona.

He has also become increasingly dismissive of the media here, and image building cannot be easy with the poster boy sulking.

Kenyon, again, is pragmatic. He said: "We have got some fantastic commercial partners, new ones joining and not once in the last 12 months has someone said they would do something with us if we had a different image.

"I don't even have to contemplate doing anything to change the manager.

"As Jose said, he has got a longterm contract here. …

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