It is easy money
It is exceedingly rare in football to be presented with an opportunity to pocket £11 million for a player who no longer serves any real purpose to you, let alone a 33-year-old reserve goalkeeper.
To put it into a context, the Blues are making a profit on what they paid for the Czech shot-stopper when agreeing a deal to sign him as a 21-year-old in 2004. Back then, he was already established as a regular for Ligue 1 club Rennes and his national side, and was tracked by Real Madrid and Inter.
As a bit of a comparison, another former Champions League winner and international centurion Edwin van der Sar was Fulham’s first choice when Manchester United snapped him up aged 34 in 2005, and they only had to pay around £2 million for the privilege.
And, as was demonstrated recently on Betting.Betfair, there isn’t a great correlation between investing heavily in a number one and enjoying vast success.
They have got away with it in the past
When Chelsea won the Premier League last season, they did so at the expense of a Manchester City squad featuring the Blues’ all-time leading goalscorer Frank Lampard, a Man United team boasting their two-time Player of the Year Juan Mata and a Liverpool XI sporadically showcasing Daniel Sturridge, who spent three-and-a-half years with them.
Lampard and Sturridge went as far as to score against their former employers, yet none of the high-profile trio could prove the grass to be greener with a victory over the Londoners in six combined attempts.
None were able to exert enough of an influence at their new homes to deny Jose Mourinho’s men the title, so the conclusion of the Stamford Bridge businessmen will be that their departures brought £49.1 million through the doors without blocking the trophy flow.
Cech’s exit isn’t expected to derail them whatsoever either despite John Terry’s unscientific estimate that he is worth “12 to 15 points”, judging by their status as [2.66] favourites in the Premier League winner market.
This is a rare piece of good PR
Chelsea find positive publicity harder to come by than Arsenal do empty treatment tables. Even when they won the Champions League as underdogs with heroic displays away to Barcelona and Bayern Munich and a former player in charge, all anyone could speak about was John Terry’s shin pads.
Whether it’s racist players, racist fans, “buying” silverware, sacking managers, recruiting youngsters simply to flog them for profit, turning clubs into feeder farms or rarely bringing players through the academy, rival supporters are never short of criticisms to hurl at them.
They were accused of getting Lampard and Ashley Cole’s farewells wrong, but for once, they will get to revel in being seen as the good guys, appreciating Cech’s 11 years of sterling service enough to let him choose his next destination, and granting his wish regardless of it being far from ideal for them.