A report from The Athletic has provided some very intriguing insight into what is happening at Chelsea.
The Blues are facing a bottom half finish, which would be their worst ever finish in the Premier League.
They are currently six points adrift of tenth-placed Fulham with six games remaining.
Unfortunately for them, they have yet to face all the teams currently occupying the top four in the table, with only one of those games being played at Stamford Bridge.
To say it has been a difficult season at Stamford Bridge would be the understatement of the century.
Now in their fourth different manager this season, the Blues have lost five in a row under Frank Lampard, who is expected to remain in charge until the end of the season.
A consortium led by Todd Boehly bought the club from Roman Abramovich last year and the American billionaire has made his intentions clear, signing players worth more than £500m.
Furthermore, most of the players hired signed long-term contracts, while some players who were already at the club entrusted their future to the Blues.
The number of players joining the club (eight in the summer and eight in January) created a bizarre situation in West London.
Managing such a bloated squad can’t be easy as you’re guaranteed to have several unhappy players, and it was undoubtedly Graham Potter’s downfall.
Athletic have given us an insight into what’s going on at Stamford Bridge, and it’s superb.
From anonymous sources to outrageously long lines at the cafeteria, there’s a lot to absorb from this report. Buckle up.
«A veteran Chelsea employee,» he told The Athletic: «He’s as bad as I’ve ever known him.»
This is particularly significant as the anonymous staff member has been at the club «for many years». What they have to say has been «echoed elsewhere by sources contacted». Damn.
Unsurprisingly, morale is at an all-time low with ‘poor results and performances’ causing him to ‘swoop’ and there is a sense that ‘it will take more than a few wins to galvanize the dressing room again’.
One «significant factor» is team size. «Over 30» players show up for training every day, which leaves Lampard and his coaching staff in an «impossible» situation.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea are looking to offload several players in the summer transfer window, the report said.
This will make the situation «more manageable,» though it remains a «financial incentive» given the amount of money Boehly has spent in less than a year at the helm.
Players likely to leave will enter the final year of their contract and those «who have indicated a reluctance to renew».
The report added: «The club will consider selling those with two-year contracts as well, especially if a good offer is made for their services.»
«Several members of the team want to leave,» The Athletic was told. Strangely, ‘not all interested parties fit into the ’12 months remaining on their contract’ scenario.’
Some players already «regret» signing long-term contracts, with many new signings not yet «key parts of an exciting project», when they were «under the impression» that this would be the case. Of course, this can still happen.
Another aspect that is impacting the morale of the whole squad is the salary situation after the failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Most of the players who have signed contracts since Boehly bought the club have agreed to a 30% wage drop if Chelsea fail to finish in the top four or win this season’s competition.
Many players won’t be affected by this, which will certainly make the atmosphere even more unpleasant.
READ MORE: Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs legends top ten club heroes down to managerial zeros
The anonymous source added: “That situation will hardly be conducive to harmony within the group. You will have some players who will pay the price financially for poor results this season, and others who won’t.»
While it’s the fault of the players and management that they’ve had a bad season, it «has added a sense of foreboding.»
It should be noted that Boehly’s visit to the dressing room following the home defeat to Brighton raised a few eyebrows; however, Lampard insisted this was not a problem and was taken back by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Boehly gave a «speech» to the players and even «pointed out some of the signings» he’s made.
Another source revealed that they once witnessed «one day such a long queue of staff for lunch at the club’s training ground that it stretched out of the dining hall entrance and down the corridor» – which was «Without precedents».
Chelsea’s situation has not been helped by the lack of «natural leaders» in the squad. 30 odd players and hardly any leaders? SBB.
One of the leaders is Cesar Azpilicueta – who is expected to leave this summer – and Thiago Silva – who is «far from fluent in English» and therefore is «not able to give rally speeches».
Perhaps surprisingly to some, Jorginho’s January exit «came a huge blow» as «he was a very popular figure in the group and one who could converse in all languages».
The report adds: ‘Some choose to stay home during downtime more than usual rather than taking the opportunity to relax, to ease the pressure, by going out together.’
It should be correctly noted that if the players were to be seen out partying and socialising, they would be accused of not caring, with the club in disarray.
The way to get everything back on track is to «reset» and «start again» in the summer.
Whatever happens between now and the end of the season isn’t too relevant. But this is going to be a great summer for Chelsea.
You can read the full report at The Athletic Here.
READ MORE: Pochettino slammed over ‘absolutely ridiculous’ Chelsea decision amid Fernandes ‘injury crisis’