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Arnesen: Chelsea hit by credit crunch

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Chelsea chief scout Frank Arnesen has admitted the club has had to make significant cutbacks as Roman Abramovich faces up to the credit crunch.

There were reports last week that the club had made 15 of their 25 scouts redundant, and Arnesen has admitted that the Russian billionaire has ‘hit the financial brakes’.

But Arnesen believes the club is now ’80 percent’ of the way towards achieving his targets in terms of structure and feels finances will soon take care of themselves.

“The structure is now in place and the financial crunch has meant that Roman has hit the financial brakes and asked us to cut deep,” he told Weekendavisen.

“We have cut down significantly on scouts and other activities.

“But we are at the level of Real Madrid and Manchester United – and we are now getting close to the time when the club can function without Roman’s money.”

Arnesen says that Abramovich has given him increased power at the club since his arrival in 2005 as head talent scout.

“I have been responsible for scouting first-team players since 2006,” he said.

“In my first year, my job was to scout players under the age of 19, but it seemed foolish that our network was only looking at players under 19.

“Roman understood that, so I was handed a mandate to recommend players for Mourinho, Avram Grant and now Scolari.

“If Scolari says he lacks a centre forward, it’s my job to make bids on players that have the necessary quality and personality to succeed at Chelsea.”

Arnesen apparently had a difficult relationship with Jose Mourinho while the pair were at the club and, although he did not mention the Portuguese by name, he hinted that the problems stemmed from the coach’s approach to the job.

“Before long, the time of dictatorial football managers who do not care about any other part of the business will soon be a thing of the past,” he said.

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