To be ‘Frank’, I’m glad it’s finally over

Chelsea have put an end to the uncertainty surrounding Frank Lampard’s future by officially announcing that the England international has put pen to paper on a mammoth 5 year contract. So now all the speculation linking him with a move to Italy and joining up with former manager Jose Mourinho at Inter has been put to rest. Good news for almost all Chelsea fans, I reckon

5 more years!

5 more years!

I won’t get into the entire story of contract talks stalling, Inter’s advances, Lampard’s demands from the club or even Frank’s deafening silence on the whole subject. You’ll find loads of news stories on these all over the web. But what has embarassed me most is the way in which the club has announced this today.

There was an announcement on the club’s official site today that a ‘World Exclusive’ news was to be announced at 5 PM GMT. That probably got lots of people wondering whether we’ve secretly signed up someone like Kaka or Robinho? Or are we moving to a new stadium? Several questions arose, some of which were straight out of a football fanatic’s fantasies! The club had successfully managed to create all sorts of hype and hoopla while raising expectations to an unreasonable and an unrealistic level, I’m afraid.

And when the clock struck 5 (or 10:30 PM IST), the ‘big’ news was made public.

“Frank Lampard has signed a new 5 year contract with Chelsea.”

Err.. What? Excuse me? Is that all? Is this what all the hype was about? Okay, so he’s finally signed a new deal. After holding the club to ransom over his demands. After a brief flirtation with Inter. After staying silent for so long that supporters started doubting whether all that badge-kissing was just out of habit rather than his love for the club. Well anyway, it’s a good thing for Chelsea and even better for Frank Lampard. After all, who in the world would offer a 5 year contract worth a rumoured 150,000 pounds a week to a 30 year old? Maybe that’s why they called it a ‘World Exclusive’.

The '30 years or older' club

The 30+ club

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that he should have left, but I feel Chelsea FC have embarassed themselves over this saga. After refusing to budge from their earlier stance of awarding only 2 years contracts to players over the age of 30, they’ve now left themselves open to demands from other players who fall in the same age bracket. Take Michael Ballack for example, who now has 1 year left on his contract. Would he not be within his rights to demand a contract of a similar length, if not a similar payscale? Ballack is a great player, but he’s not Frank Lampard so he’ll probably be given short shrift. Doesn’t bode well for dressing room harmony, does it?

Agreed, Lampard has been here for 7 years and has been a brilliant asset, but all this haggling over a new deal has left a bitter taste in my mouth at least. Well let’s just hope that we don’t have to witness any more such tedious dramas which ultimately lead to the club bowing down to a player’s demands and making a ridiculous spectacle of it all. Here’s wishing Frank Lampard all the very best and hoping that he continues to score 20 odd goals every season for the rest of his career at Chelsea. CAREFREE!!!

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