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Oct, 24, 2008

Chelsea chequebook closed for January sales

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has confirmed Chelsea will not add to their squad in January as the club seek to finally move towards profitability.

The Blues' chief said he believes manager Luiz Felipe Scolari already has the players he requires at his disposal, and Kenyon looks to be justified in his claim, with Chelsea unbeaten in all competitions and sitting atop both the Premier League and their Champions League group.

''It's our intention to put our squad together at the start of the season,'' said Kenyon at the Global Sports Summit.

''I don't see us being active in the January window. I don't think there is a need, unless that changes through events like injuries.''

''We see ourselves as being very focused on getting the title back. 'From where I am sitting the Premier League is more competitive than last year.

''I know it sometimes looks predictable but I can promise you it is not. 'We have a squad that is good enough, arguably the best squad in depth and Luiz has the ability to get the best out of that.

''Luiz Felipe Scolari has had a fantastic start and had a big impact - top of the league and top of our group in Europe.''

The club spent £20million in the summer recruiting midfield playmaker Deco from Barcelona and full-back Jose Bosingwa from FC Porto. However, they missed out on Real Madrid's Robinho, who was poached from under their noses as the transfer deadline loomed by newly wealthy Manchester City.

With Shaun Wright-Phillips also making the move to the blue side of Manchester, returning after a disappointing three-year stint at Stamford Bridge, there had been speculation that Chelsea might seek to strengthen on the flanks.

But a resurgent Florent Malouda, finding form this term after what was largely perceived as a disappointing debut season, has convincingly plugged any gap left by Wright-Phillips' departure and Robinho's non-arrival.

With a strong squad, Kenyon believes Chelsea are well placed to negotiate the current financial crisis and revealed the club will become ''self-funding'' from next year.

But he could not put a precise date on when the club will be financially independent from billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

''We are moving towards profitability and independent funding,'' he said.

''It is not a precise science. We have invested heavily in facilities and next year we will be self-funding from a club and company point of view given how much money we have spent.

''The reality is that no-one is recession-proof but we are in as good a position as anybody else. We have no external debt and that has to be a competitive advantage at this stage.''

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