Frank has made it clear that he wants to leave the Club, notwithstanding the fact that he has two years left to run on his contract. The loss of Frank would be significant. You will all know that I created the new structure at the Club to accommodate Frank as a key figure and I had no doubt, in doing so, that he would add substantially to the value of our squad over the coming years.
My position on where we go from here is quite clear — I am determined to resolve this in the best interests of our Club. I will not be coerced into lodging a formal complaint to the Premier League, in what is, in my opinion, an open and shut case that Chelsea will get points deducted. I will, however, not hesitate to take this route in the absence of fair and significant compensation.
It is also my strong opinion that the onus should not rest with an individual club to uphold the rules of the FAPL. It is my responsibility to mitigate the significant loss to our Club.
As many of you will have seen, news of a letter Chelsea wrote to the Club following our meeting on Tuesday, accusing us of illegally approaching some of their players, has now found its way to the Evening Standard. I can assure you that we wrote back to Chelsea in the strongest possible terms. We have not spoken to any player that they have not given us permission to do so. It could not be clearer.
Discussions continue between ourselves and Chelsea and there are meetings planned for next week.
Thank you for all the messages of support you have sent me personally and to the Club. As Martin said earlier in the week, sometimes when things like this happen, it makes you even more determined to succeed. I shall come back to you, regards,
It is now a week since I first met with Bruce Buck and Peter Kenyon to discuss Chelsea’s inappropriate contact with Frank Arnesen. This illegal approach left the Club with no alternative but to suspend Frank with immediate effect as soon as news of the approach was leaked. As we are listed on AIM (Alternative Investment Market), we were also required to announce the suspension of a senior executive. In this sense we were not in the driving seat for the timing of this announcement and I resent any insinuation that we timed it deliberately to coincide with the Ashley Cole verdict.