Out of the frying pan,......
Reports indicate Ashley Cole stated to Premier League lawyer Nick Fitzpatrick he was tricked into meeting with Jose Moan-rinho and Peter Kenyon, that he was surprised and aimed to leave the room until Moan-rinho persuaded him to stay and listen. Then the Chelsea man suggested to Cole that he can join Chelsea and earn £110,000 a week, double that offered by Arsenal. Moan-rinho is said to have said Steven Gerrard is already secured in coming to the Bridge, and the only other player they want is a left back. Cole is said to have said he will not play for another English club if not Arsenal, and only a move abroad would appease him. Cole is then to have left the room, presumably with his agent.
Cole and his agent Jonathan Barnett initially came to the Royal Park Hotel to meet agent Pina Zahavi to discuss a possible move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
The version from Stamford Bridge is that Mr Barnett phoned Chelsea to initiate a meeting, Chelsea made no offer, and then Mr Kenyon phoned Mr Barnett to say there is no interest in Cole.
Well, to say I'm confused is something in the line of my understanding of this issue. Clearly the two versions contradict each other and I sense a Premier League inquiry in full will be ensuing. Cole went to the hotel, that's not in doubt. He felt he was being set up when Moan-rinho and Kenyon entered the room, as he and his agent understood they were meeting Zahavi. I assume Zahavi didn't turn up. I can believe this much, though I would like to know who got in touch first to initiate the meeting, as Cole wanted to discuss moving to Real or Barca.
Moan-rinho and Kenyon are said to have not been at the hotel, though affidavits state they were. Full of flair, quality players and finance Chelsea have in some quantity, but to make yourself appear and then convince others you didn't is something that only Sinbad could conjure up with his genie, and we are not talking about a Middle Eastern setting. So someone is lying, or, as sly people would rather put it, are not forthcoming entirely with the truth.
Personally, it sounds more probable that Cole was encouraged to meet at the hotel and was set up. I can believe Moan-rinho and Kenyon are that ruthless that they will pull out all or any stops to get what they want, backed by Abramovich's millions. With that kind of financial backing, there are many, many who would do exactly the same thing.
Yet there are further implications from these reports. Cole stated that he was told Gerrard's move out of Liverpool to Chelsea is a foregone conclusion. This has let the cat out the bag even further, Gerrard cannot now hide behind a smokescreen in regard to his future interests. One could say that it is too early to be believing anything, but a sixth sense can pick up that which hardly any other can. Cole has implicated Gerrard's next move. He didn't have to say it if he needn't to so saying it is to give a full account of what happened and what was said. I was slightly convinced that Gerrard would move abroad, but that was wishful thinking.
Then again, it may have been said to convince Cole to come to Chelsea. Would Moan-rinho lie? Kenyon? In order to tempt a player their way? Has their current success at Chelsea changed them to that?? Also, this comes as Liverpool prepare to host Blackburn tomorrow. Forget about Chelsea v West Brom tonight, Moan-rinho and Kenyon sleep tight at night without a care. Moan-rinho said he cannot be pressured. That's because when he is, against Newcastle and Barcelona in the Nou Camp, at crucial stages of the respective competition, he isn't nice to hear, hence his monicker Moan-rinho. Football is a passionate sport globally, and Moan-rinho has passion equal to that of anyone in the game. If one is defeated, it spreads to all of those connected with the losing side, and it hurts, vibrating like an ultrasonic sound wave.
Zahavi isn't likely to be called to give evidence as he isn't a UK registered agent. Well for me, being head of the FA, I would implement a rule that would forbid any agent or employee of English football from further participation in their capacity within the sport until they have given full and corroborated evidence in any football-related inquiry when requested. Otherwise, what is our football administration if it is powerless to act fully in the name of integrity?