Joe Cole and Michael Ballack are to be released from the club. This pretty much confirms the fact which Chelsea fans knew a long time ago. The club seem to have taken this stance after both Cole and Ballack failed to lower their wage demands. While Ballack is on the wrong end of 30 and doesn’t have much to offer, Cole on the other hand is in the prime of his career at 28. What does this mean for Chelsea?
Well the first significant difference that is going to come will be in the wage bill. Removing two high earners in the club in Cole and Ballack could save a minimum of £200,000 per week. With Chelsea topping the league in terms of wage bill at the
moment, it is necessary for the club to cut down the wage bill in order to achieve the financial regulations that will be imposed on European clubs in 2015, failing to meet which will result in disqualification from the Champions League.
Ancelotti promised all through the season that Joe Cole would stay at Chelsea. With Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham very keen on signing him by giving a huge signing-on bonus, he has failed to keep the promise. The Guardian reports that Chelsea are interested in signing Bastian Schweinsteiger to replace the outgoing German, Michael Ballack. Reported transfer fees are around the £25 million mark and at 25 years of age, he is exactly the right kind of player that Chelsea need next season.
On hindsight, Chelsea’s decision can be justified as prudence rather than a statement. This will in no doubt change people’s perception about Chelsea. Ever since Abramovich took over, Chelsea have always been regarded as a club that pays over the odds. But the decision to let two very good players go on a free when they failed to comply with the wage regulations suggests that this could be a new dawn in the club’s era.
Cole will remain a fan favourite no matter what club he signs for. He will be forever remembered for his goal at Old Trafford that bought the title back after three seasons along with many others. He leaves the club after making 282 appearances.
Chelsea FC True Blue wishes Joe Cole all the best for his future.