1 June, 2005 – Chelsea, Jose Mourinho and Ashley Cole are handed record fines by breaching a variety of Premier League rules.
Chelsea, in particular, are fined 300k and given a suspended three point deduction, for breaking rule K3, which prevents a club from approaching another player held under a contract with at least six months remaining.
25 June, 2005 – Chelsea pay Tottenham a sizeable sum, thought to be around 10m, as compensation for the appointment of Frank Arnesen as sporting director. Tottenham had threatened to report Chelsea for tapping him up after he’d been spotted on Abramovich’s boat.
The compensation satisfied Spurs, but was seen as an admission of guilt by a club with a potential points deduction hanging over them.
28 October, 2006 – Chelsea pay Leeds a settlement for them to drop charges over illegally approaching three of their young players, two of whom subsequently made the move to London.
Chelsea insist they will “rectify any shortcomings… and develop their own code of conduct”
30 June, 2007 – Florent Malouda gives an interview to French newspaper, Le Progres, after it is confirmed that Lyon have rejected a 12 million pound from Chelsea for the winger:
“I have made my choice. I have talked with the coach Jose Mourinho.
“The directors know I want to leave and in these conditions I can’t see me playing for Lyon anymore.”
He has talked with Jose Mourinho? Let’s remind ourselves of that rule again – clubs and managers are both forbidden from approaching a player under contract with another club, unless that player has less than six months left on the deal. Malouda has two years left.
Presumably, since Lyon rejected the offer, they have not given Mourinho or any Chelsea representative permission to speak to their player.
Mourinho cannot claim ignorance to this rule, he did after all get fined a record 200k for his part in tapping up Ashley Cole. At the time, the Premier League said they would not stand for this again. Now, this situation is more complicated, as it is not between two clubs under their jurisdiction, but for how much longer can they get away with this?
Chelsea behave as if they are invincible, as if they don’t have to abide by the same rules as everyone else. The trouble is, they are never punished for it, so in a way they are right. And even a record fine is not a punishment – their deep-pocketed owner is hardly likely to worry about some loose change when his club get the services of the best people (players, youth, staff) in the game.
It has to stop. What’s the point of a governing body that doesn’t act?