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As revealed in The Independent yesterday, Ron Gourlay isreplacing Peter Kenyon at Chelsea. Sam Wallace looks at the tasks hefaces at a club riven by divisions

The new Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay willhave nothing like the power of his predecessor Peter Kenyon and willfocus on the commercial side of the job while leaving all footballbusiness in the hands of sporting director Frank Arnesen.

As revealed by The Independentyesterday, Gourlay, 46, will take over from Kenyon who brought him fromManchester United five years ago. The former United commercial directorsaid that he would "strike the balance between the footballing andcommercial sides" of the club but the football element of the job isway out of his remit with Arnesen in such control.

Withthe Fifa transfer ban over the Gaël Kakuta affair to be fought, as wellas long-term plans for Stamford Bridge to be put in place, The Independent looks at the challenges Chelsea and their new chief executive face.

1. Watch out for club politics

Arnesenis supposed to answer to Gourlay but only really answers to RomanAbramovich. Carlo Ancelotti is supposed to work with Arnesen but willalso want to go direct to the top man. John Terry has his eye on themanager's job one day. Everywhere you look at Chelsea there is ambition.

Gourlayhas already had five years to learn the ropes. He had better be a gooddiplomat, especially when it comes to dealing with the Russians.

2. Fight Fifa transfer ban

Chelsea'sdefence will still fall under Kenyon's remit because he is a centralpart of the club's case. While Gourlay will be expected to oversee thelegal defence for the Kakuta case, most of the work will come from hispredecessors' influence within Uefa and the European Clubs' Association.

Atsome point – either in 2011 or earlier if the appeal is successful –Chelsea will have to replace their aging squad. Given Arnesen's recordso far, he should not be allowed to do it alone.

3. Achieve financial independence

Kenyon'sbold proclamation that the club would be capable of breaking even by2010 was quietly withdrawn earlier this year. There is no doubt thatChelsea are embarrassed by the fact that Roman Abramovich has nowweighed in with around £700m to establish them as a major force.

Therewas never any chance that Chelsea would hit Kenyon's 2010's targetwhich became a millstone around their necks. Now they simply say thatit is still an objective but have not put a date on it. Reducing theirlosses would be a start and the transfer ban will help.

4. Tie up player contracts

Inthe absence of player acquisitions, Gourlay is fortunate that mostexisting senior players are signed to long-term deals. Joe Cole is thelast one yet to agree a new deal but it is likely that Kenyon willoversee that contract before he leaves as it is he who has had most ofthe discussions with Cole.

Arnesen will handlethese contracts from now on. He oversaw the sale of Claudio Pizarro toWerder Bremen in the summer. At £3m, the German club believe they got abargain.

5. Build a bigger stadium

Thisis one that Gourlay could really get his teeth into, especially asKenyon made little or no progress on it. Ideally Chelsea would like a55,000-capacity stadium rather than the 41,841 ground they have.Stamford Bridge has the space to be extended but because of the site'slimited exits those changes would never get planning permission.

Variousalternative sites have been discussed including Earls Court exhibitioncentre, Chelsea Wharf and Wormwood Scrubs park. None of them have comeup to scratch. If Chelsea have pretensions of being a really big clubthey must find a solution.

6. Do not turn the world blue

If Gourlay was to take one lesson from Kenyon it is that naff corporate sloganeering makes you look daft. Avoid.

independent.co.uk

(bigger stadium = bigger income)

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my Agenda:

1. get rid of Arnesen, bring back Stevie (Clark) even if hes sportsdirector and not a manager, hes an absolut legend and shouldnt have been treated like that, he should have been our coach instead of Grant and Scolari, give him the position arnesen is in...

2. Sell old Players next time we're able to buy: Ballack, Belletti, Ferreira, Deco, (and sadly) Riccy, or at least keep the last one at the club for another Role.

4. Buy: Aguero, Silva and Gomis

5. Bigger Stadium

6. Pen down a Deal with Nike:readthemessage:

7. Get 3-4 Reserves into the 1st Team, as soon as possible...

8. do everything possible to make absolut outstanding players out of Connor Clifford, Kaby, Kakuta, Borini and Woods, so fifa can fuck themselves... and platini kan stick his head into his ass...

Edited by Clevemayer
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What the papers need to do,

Stay out of our affairs.

They wont. Our Club sells their Papers like Hot Cakes.

My "To Do's" to Gourlay.

Win Champions LEague

Win Premier LEague

Win FA Cup

Win Carling Cup.

And Win the Fucking Case against FIFA on Kakuta Case And SUE THEIR FUCKING ASSES for 50million for defamation.

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no point building a whole new stadium just for 15,000 more seats, if we plan on building one it needs to be bigger than the emirates at least, not just for the increasing fans but for the pure principle of it.

besides the emirates just looks like an airport, if we build a new one it needs to be like Stamford bridge.

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I never want to leave Stamford Bridge just for the sake of a few more seats. It's in one of the best places in London, the whole feel of the place is great - compare that with the likes of West Ham and Spurs.

It's also completely unique, theres no other ground in the world like it all these new stadiums are nearly identical and all the ones I've been to feel lifeless.

We've always played there and going to the match would never be the same without the walk along the Fulham Rd, home games are geneally crap for atmosphere but I still look forward to them for all those reasons and more.

We struggle to sell out as it is and even for the big games you see a few empty seats.

Not to mention the name - Stamford Bridge - how cool is that? blue%20scalf.gif

Edited by Shed Head
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I never want to leave Stamford Bridge just for the sake of a few more seats. It's in one of the best places in London, the whole feel of the place is great - compare that with the likes of West Ham and Spurs.

It's also completely unique, theres no other ground in the world like it all these new stadiums are nearly identical and all the ones I've been to feel lifeless.

We've always played there and going to the match would never be the same without the walk along the Fulham Rd, home games are geneally crap for atmosphere but I still look forward to them for all those reasons and more.

We struggle to sell out as it is and even for the big games you see a few empty seats.

Not to mention the name - Stamford Bridge - how cool is that? blue%20scalf.gif

Couldn't agree more.

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Agree!!It aint shiney new and crap! Just dont see the point of spending all the dosh and time building one if we dont really need it.

Anyho say to do list imo:

Not upset anyone/give FIFA a reason to ban us for something else

Focus on winning trophies

Win the Champs league and capture Plantis face cause the look will be priceless.Prob run off with the bloody trophy and try give it to the other team..less their English in which case he wont know what to do

Involve reserve players more in games.Least have two or three on the bench so if we are say 4-0 up,give them a run out and experince

Win the case/have it cut down and haha at FIFA...then win the prem and haha even more

Bring back stablity!Dont fire Ancelloti if we fail to win the prem/anything this season cause it aint gana help!All would do leave with a new manager,new style and prob another new manager at the end.Give the guy a chance to build..and if he cant build till 2011 then a chance to sort it all out

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Agree!!It aint shiney new and crap! Just dont see the point of spending all the dosh and time building one if we dont really need it.

Anyho say to do list imo:

Not upset anyone/give FIFA a reason to ban us for something else

As long as we exist we are upsetting people.

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a new stadium for Chelsea will be guaranteed as long as we are a big club, but i doubt one will be built any time soon.

although a few more trophy's are likely to seal the deal because successful organizations are constantly expanding, and no matter how strong fans feeling's are against it they know we will always come around to the eventual inevitability.

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I think we need to focus on developing the talent from the Youth Academy and spotting potential stars of the future. Of course we need to stay on top and win the major trophies, i.e. Chmpaions League, Premiere League, Carling Cup and the FA Cup. Extend our current stadium or build a new one at some point.

Edited by Blueray
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