Bates in Blast at Chelsea 'Rip-Offs'; 'If You Come from Siberia You Can Get All You Want'

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

Bates in Blast at Chelsea 'Rip-Offs'; 'If You Come from Siberia You Can Get All You Want'


Byline: MATT LAWTON

KEN BATES has claimed that Chelsea have been ripped off by agents who send in 'dodgy videos' of their players.

In an extraordinary attack on Roman Abramovich's Russian revolution, the former Stamford Bridge chairman said the club paid [pounds sterling]5million over the odds for Joe Cole and Scott Parker and should not have bought Hernan Crespo or Adrian Mutu.

Bates, who suggested that Abramovich's lack of football knowledge made him vulnerable to football's middlemen, said: 'In 2003 we had options on Joe Cole and Scott Parker for a total of [pounds sterling] 12 m.

Abramovich was advised they weren't good enough and not to buy them - then we spent [pounds sterling]17m on them.

'I think Abramovich has been taken to the cleaners on a few occasions.

That's part of the learning curve and fortunately he can afford it.

'One of the problems over the last six months is that we've signed a few players because the agent recommended him.

And the agent's done very well out of it.

'I think we've bought too many players. We've bought 11, 12, 13 players on top of those we had and you can't keep them all happy. If they genuinely love the game and are not just in it for the money, they want to play football. We spent nearly [pounds sterling]40m on Hernan Crespo and Adrian Mutu, yet the top Chelsea scorer in the Premiership is Mikael Forssell at Birmingham (on loan) and we got him for nothing.

'I wouldn't have bought Mutu or Crespo. One of the problems is a lot of players brought in have not been good enough and some have been bought on the basis of dodgy videos.' Asked whether he regretted selling his stake in the club to Abramovich, Bates said: 'I don't think so. On the whole it's been very positive.

'The only thing I regret is that it's been a steep learning curve for him because he knew nothing about football before he joined Chelsea. Prior to Peter Kenyon ( the chief executive) arriving, they had no one there with any experience of running a football club.' In the interview with Talksport, Bates also spoke out in defence of under- pressure manager Claudio Ranieri. …

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