Departing Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has spoken of his pride at breaking up Manchester United and Arsenal's Premier League 'cartel' in his five-and-a-half years at the club.
Kenyon, who will leave his post at the end of October to be replaced by Ron Gourlay, agreed to join Chelsea in the early months of Roman Abramovich's revolution in 2003 and came into a club that had not won the league title since 1955.
Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson were the two dominant figures on the domestic scene, carving up league honours for the nine years following Blackburn's triumph in 1995. But Kenyon was instrumental in bringing Jose Mourinho to the club in a move that paid immediate dividends when Chelsea were crowned league champions in 2005.
"The two clubs that had constantly won the Premiership were Manchester United and Arsenal," Kenyon said. "Chelsea broke that cartel. On the sporting front we became a respected domestic club and a respected European club.
"Our record on the field led us to be the number one club in the Uefa co-efficient. We are now seen as a very serious European football club with great relations across the continent. We have a squad that is as good as any and better than most in Europe.
"We have doubled the turnover, increased our sponsorship revenues and we sell out now every game. Lots has been made about our investment in players but we have also invested heavily in the foundations of the club which will stand us in good stead for many years to come."
Kenyon also reflected on Abramovich's transformation of the club, claiming that the Russian owner remains fully committed to his ongoing project at Stamford Bridge.
"Roman Abramovich's investment has been fantastic for Chelsea," Kenyon said. "He's put money in and he's committed for the long term for the right reasons. We've got no external debt. We're not leveraged. We've got secured ownership with secured financing. We've never shied away from the amount of money we have invested in the club."