Peter Kenyon now reveals that all those rumours of tensions Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich were all true. Previously he had denied them. What is a bit less believable is the contention that these tensions were behind Chelsea's stumble in form.
Sure, the rumours of Mourinho leaving Stamford Bridge unsettled the club but the damage to their chances was already done by the injuries to key players like Petr Cech, John Terry, the overcautious attack, thinness at central and right back position, and none of their high profile transfers like Sheva, Ballack, and Bouhlarouz panning out as planned.
Mourinho admits that there were some tension between him and Abramovich centered around the lack of winter transfers and specifically mentions the peak as between the end of December and the whole month of January. Chelsea's record during that stretch shows how the champions lost ground to Man Utd by drawing Reading, Fulham, and Aston Villa in succession, effectively costing them the Premiership title. But he attributed his losses to key personnel, not a chilling in his relationship with Chelsea's owner.
After a draw against Fulham, Mourinho was asked how much he needed to spend to overhaul United, and said:"Nothing. I need the best goalkeeper in the world back, I need the best central defender in the world back." Without Terry, Chelsea have conceded eight goals in four league games.
The absence of both Terry and Ricardo Carvalho for the Liverpool match, inadequate defensive work by Ferriera and Mikel, and a rasping shot by Jermaine Pennant led to a demoralizing loss.
In the end it was the loss of key players at crucial moments and high priced transfers not working out that cost Chelsea a chance at the title. Kenyon gets a bit defensive when asked about those transfers.
"We don't subscribe to the suggestion that Andrei and Michael have been failures," he said.
Its easier deflecting criticism to a souring relationship between a manager and the owner.