The biggest ‘non-story’ of this season’s transfer window finally seems to be at an end, on the Chelsea Football Club official website today John Terry released a statement regarding his future at the club and a proposed move to Manchester City.
Whilst it cannot be denied that the players head had been turned by the offer of a seemingly endless pot of cash few have ever truly believed that the man dubbed ‘Mr Chelsea’ would head to Eastlands in search of a bigger salary.
This story has been fuelled by media speculation and the speculative actions of Manchester City it seems that the only winners will be the story hungry media who have found countless space to fill their papers as John Terry refused to be drawn on a story he has done little to create, even if his silence did fan the flames.
The transfer of Terry to Manchester City would have been a big coup within the media who are desperate to see what they believe to be ‘Chelsea being played at their own game’ the knives were out and the reporting was more than slightly speculative. The media have never been comfortable with phrases such as ‘Mr Chelsea’ and now have the ammunition to discard such phrases and adopt a more cynical perspective.
I am not saying that John Terry will never leave Chelsea and the undertones of the statement seem to be that the club has convinced him that the future is brighter at Stamford Bridge rather than at Eastlands. That the club still has the ambition and resources to succeed and he is a key part of the latest Chelsea regime rather than plucked at the heartstrings.
The romantic notion of a ‘club for life’ is nothing more than that, a romantic notion. John Terry is a well-respected player and it is natural that clubs will enquire about his services, even if he has not reached his peak performance levels of the 2005/2006 season due to injury. It can be sure that the most affected by this saga will be the Chelsea fans who have had this illusion shaken to its foundations in consecutive summers with both Frank Lampard and Terry himself subject to speculation.
We will never know the real reasons John Terry and to a certain extent Chelsea allowed this saga to continue for so long, whether he really did consider a move? The whole thing could have been nipped in the bud within a week or two and still left time for Terry and the club to have discussions about the future of the club and his role.
This saga has further underlined that Manchester City despite their posturing and limited success are not currently in the position to attract superstars. Without proof that the current project will succeed Mark Hughes and his Middle Eastern paymasters have been forced to feed on the scraps of the transfer system playing second choice to more established and prestigious clubs.
On the face it, it appears that traditional values (if they still exist in Football) have won on this occasion, with a player choosing the opportunity to win silverware over the opportunity to add an even greater sum of money into his already bulging retirement fund.
Yet I am sure that this debate and the ethical and morale considerations involved will run and run as the media and fans try and second guess each move and its motivations.
Chelsea fans, is John Terry still your Captain, Leader, Legend?