Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea are on the same level as Manchester United despite Harry Redknapp's dig at the Blues ahead of Sunday's clash with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs boss Redknapp claims Chelsea have a long way to go before the club are big enough to be classed in the ''same bracket as Manchester United''.
Chelsea's chief-executive Peter Kenyon quit the club this week - five years after he vowed to ''turn the world blue'' by 2010, and four years after he pledged to make the Blues ''the world's number one club'' by 2014.
But since Roman Abramovich took control of the club in 2003, Chelsea have struggled to win the Champions League - despite reaching five semi-finals in the last six seasons. Yet Ancelotti insists there is parity between them and United.
''Chelsea are on the same level as Manchester United, as a club and as a team,'' declared Ancelotti. ''The only thing is that Manchester has more tradition in respect to Chelsea, but this means that for us it can be a very good motivation to start this season very well.''
Former chief operating officer Ron Gourlay has been installed as the new chief-executive but Ancelotti took time out to pay tribute to the work of the outgoing Kenyon. His departure also puts the spotlight back onto the club's sporting director Frank Arnesen.
The Dane is responsible for the academy at the club and in the wake of FIFA's transfer ban for inducing youngster Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens two years ago, his position is expected to come under further scrutiny.
But Ancelotti said: ''The role of Frank Arnesen is sporting director and he is working very close with me. I have a good relationship with him and we want to do the best for the club.
''Peter Kenyon did a very good job but I didn't know him very well. I spoke with him in the period that I've been here but he leaves a fantastic team and club and he worked very well for Chelsea.''