Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has implied that Chelsea’s stars will not be getting a bonus at the end of the season if they win the Europa League.
It’s being reported that a number of players have asked officials whether there will be any additional cash payments should the club win the European competition, which has been met with a unanimous negative.
Most Chelsea fans will more than likely say that’s fair enough considering the club really should have been aiming at a solid Champions League defence this season.
However, it’s a negative and something which could come back to haunt the club as they head towards the last four of the tournament, which has proven too difficult for the other English sides involved.
It’s counter productive because it’s now unreasonable of Rafael Benitez to urge his players to put in extra effort and go the extra distance, when they are not being incentivised away from the field to do so.
That may seem like a very naïve reason for the players not to give their all for the club, especially considering players are being paid higher salaries than ever before.
However, this Chelsea squad is as human as any other set of players in Europe so as much as that may be the case, mentally they will be a couple of percentage points away from putting in their utmost effort.
Chelsea may well have set aside a prize pool of cash which could have been used had the club successfully defended its Champions League title, which could easily have been retained to guarantee efficiency in this competition.
Chelsea are now relying on their players and the professionalism they show, which is fair enough, but their chances of winning the Europa League would have undoubtedly been aided if the players knew they were playing for a reward.
It’s a very interesting situation because clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal have already made subtle changes to players contracts, which incentivise players through more bonuses and lower salaries.
That change is partly due to the impending financial controls which are coming into English football but they are also designed to ensure players go all out when it comes to their performance levels for certain tournaments.
Chelsea have enough experienced pros for this to not be too much of an issue but there could seen be a lackadaisical air of thinking within the squad when it’s European time again, which is something the fans certainly don’t deserve to see.
Will this backfire on Chelsea? What do you think?
image: © Jason Bagley