Matt Stanger finds it impossible to believe that Roman Abramovich is content with the haphazard nature of Chelsea's European title victories in the last 12 months...
Rafa Benitez has left Chelsea in excellent shape ahead Jose Mourinho's imminent return after guiding the club to Europa League glory and into next season's Champions League...
Well, it will be interesting to see how Chelsea fans blame Rafa Benitez for this one. What happens next is up to the police as well as the FA but, amid a League Cup exit and the fall-out from Eden Hazard's boot making contact with Charlie Morgan, there is some good news for Chelsea this week.
Deloitte have published their rankings of the global turnover of clubs and the European champions sit fifth, with an income of €323m, up from sixth place and €250m a year ago. The victory against Bayern Munich - who remain fourth - helped them leapfrog Arsenal, who still had a bright side to look on as revenue rose €39m to €290m.
These figures do not reflect how much was spent to achieve these income levels, however. This is not the only such league table; Forbes produce their version later in the year, which estimates the value of clubs and reflects expenditure, too. It is a source of much irritation (here at least) when the different measures are often conflated by the media under the heading 'rich lists'.
The Deloitte Football Money League's value is in charting the extraordinary rise of football income generally, with all the leading clubs' takings rising by a minimum of roughly €30m. Real Madrid cross the €500m mark for the first time, Barcelona are not far behind and Manchester United, despite failing to reach last season's Champions League knock-out stage, are close to €400m, up from €367m.
Of course the problem with statistics is how you use them, as well as what you call them; consider the FIFA rankings. Each month you see bare stories that state Spain are top and Germany still second but do not reflect the margins. The world and European champions have a 169-point lead, and Joachim Low's side are 147 points better off than Argentina, who themselves lead Italy by 125. The next 125-point drop covers the rest of the top 10 with something to spare but the headlines would declare someone a 'big riser' or 'big faller' and often the stories themselves omit the points totals.
So with the Deloitte chart, beyond erroneous headlines such as 'Real Madrid still world's richest club' on the BBC. Manchester City are up from 12th to seventh, revenues rising to €286m from €170m, but as the full report reveals the sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, of questionable value to the airline, plays a major part. (To be fair to the BBC, they reflect this, too; but good reporting deserves better headlines.)
Chelsea, meanwhile, issued figures in November stating that they made a £1.4m profit in their last financial year, overturning a £67.7m loss. Reporting on the detailed accounts, though, showed one-off items - such as share write-offs and a reduction in payments to sacked managers who got new jobs - without which you are talking about a £19.9m loss. Other one-off items included winning the Champions League.
To repeat a detail from above, Manchester United, even in a year where they fail in Europe and do not win a trophy, increase income by €30m. To succeed financially when you are failing elsewhere is a real achievement and it remains unclear what would happen to Chelsea and Manchester City if suddenly they were cut off from the money that gives them success, a question that relates to financial fair play as well as owners' whims.
The darker and lighter Blues have rapidly acquired global audiences but no one knows how deeply a fan in the Far East connects to the club compared to one with the physical tie of passing through a turnstile; for all the lists, we are in uncharted territory.
Reports such as Deloitte's are hugely informative because of the work that lies behind them but can also be seen as snaphots rather than warts-and-all portraits. Premier League clubs generally will rise against continental peers when the new TV deal kicks in, Deloitte observe - which will make it even more important to look at the individual detail however impressive football's overall financial outlook may appear.
Deloitte Money League, revenues in 2011/12:
1. Real Madrid: 513m euros
2. Barcelona: 483m euros
3. Man Utd: 396m euros
4. Bayern Munich: 368m euros
5. Chelsea: 323m euros
6. Arsenal: 290m euros
7. Manchester City: 286m euros
8. AC Milan: 257m euros
9. Liverpool: 233m euros
10. Juventus: 195m euros