Chelsea support Manchester United in Cristiano Ronaldo contract dispute

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Peter Kenyon believes players should not be allowed to walk away from their contract when they want, in a show of support to Manchester United in the Ronaldo dispute.

The Chelsea chief executive, who occupied a similar post at Old Trafford before his departure four years ago,did not want to discuss the Cristiano Ronaldo saga in too much depth but stressed the importance of contract stability in football.

The Portugal international, 23, has four years remaining on his contract with United but has so far refused to rule out a potential move to Real Madrid who have courted the player throughout the summer, attempting the unsettle him since May.

Supporting Chelsea's Premier League rivals on the matter, Kenyon insists contract stability, and principally obiding by their agreed terms, is essential for the greater good of the game.

He said: "Clubs should not have the ability to not honour a contract, and so we should expect the same from our players. If a player is injured and doesn't play for 12 months we fulfill our obligations.

"From a coach's point of view, you need to be able to think this is not just my team for this season, but these lads are here for two or three seasons because you have to plan.

"And then there's the fans. A large part of football is connecting with the fans, and the fans connecting with the players.

"If fans felt there would be another 23 players at a club next season, then football will lose something.
"Football needs to look at this issue seriously because it's all about passions and relationships. You can't start with a fresh bit of paper every year.

"I really don't want to comment on Ronaldo but I think the contract stability issue is very important for football."

Speaking ahead of Chelsea's final game on their pre-season tour of Asia, tomorrow against a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpar, Kenyon reiterated the club's stance that Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko will not be leaving Stamford Bridge this season.

The trio have been linked with respective moves away from the club in recent weeks. Lampard is the prime target of former coach Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan; Shevchenko subject to interest in Italy; while Drogba's reluctance to sign a new and improved deal has attracted serious interest from Barcelona and AC Milan.

But Kenyon said: "We have always said, whatever happens, we want Frank to stay. He's still got one year left and we expect him to be in a Chelsea shirt next season.

"As for Didier, he has two years on his contract. There are always noises about Didier but the only reason he is not here is because of rehab because we want him 100 percent fit for next season.

"Sheva is a part of the squad of 23 and there's no one is that squad who is not contributing. Everyone we believe is capable of delivering the goods."

"There is a Chelsea position that we do not sell our best players. We don't want to and we don't need to."
Chelsea support Manchester United in Cristiano Ronaldo contract dispute Reviewed by admin Ucop on 10:21 PM Rating: 5

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