Is Chelsea Football Club guilty of shabby treatment of the one-time French national captain or is Florent Malouda taking the p**s?
Twitter must be the bane of any football club’s PR department, never mind Chelsea Football Club. But when you’re the holder of the most prestigious Club trophy in world football, the media attention on any given player’s tweets is immense. Therefore, it’s no surprise that when Florent Malouda tweeted “This is where I’ll train for my last season with the blues!!!” alongside a photo of the Under 21’s entrance, the media went into overdrive.
The tweet makes Chelsea look shabby. A French international with 220 Chelsea appearances and 45 Chelsea goals to his credit, you’d think that Malouda deserves better than to be told to train with the Under 21’s. It’s not as though Florent isn’t popular with his teammates either, having won the 2009/10 Players’ Player of the Year Award. So what’s the truth? CFCnet put in a call to one of our Fleet Street contacts and the picture became a little clearer.
The truth, apparently, is that having played sparingly in Season 2011/12 (after seeing his form drop off under AVB and subsequently Di Matteo), Malouda decided it was time for a change. Fair enough, as no world class footballer likes to warm his bum cheeks on the subs bench.
The Club didn’t have a problem with him wanting to sling his hook either – let’s be honest, Malouda was failing to make an impact in games … it’s not as though he was playing ‘that bad’ but neither was he playing ‘that good’. So Malouda’s desire to move in the summer of 2012 made sense for all parties … except his bank manager.
Indeed, despite a number of Premier League clubs and foreign clubs making enquiries – the most high profile being Brazil’s Santos (his wife is from Brazil) – Malouda turned them all down. The Club, apparently, having initially wanted a fee for a player that cost £13million in 2007 eventually conceded to letting him go on a free….but no Club could match the wages that Malouda is currently on.
And therein lies the rub. A talented footballer with a few years left at the top of his profession wishes to move to a new Club to prolong his career. However, no Club is willing to pay the wages the player is currently on. Said player has to either make a choice to play and forgo some wages (aka ‘doing a Bellamy’) or to sit in the reserves and collect the lolly (aka ‘doing a Bogarde’). Apparently Malouda has taken the latter option and is doing a Winston.
Chelsea FC, left with an unmotivated player who no longer wishes to play for them, had no option but to let him train elsewhere, notably the Under 21’s. It doesn’t reflect greatly on the Club as Malouda has been, up until now, a solid player, but who wants a dissatisfied and unmotivated player (in decline) training with their first team?
It’s just a shame Malouda didn’t make a clear choice to pursue his career rather than his bank balance. Let’s hope both sides see sense and a compromise is worked out … after all, it’s a situation that neither side wants.