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Forget Platini and Putin - Abramovich back in charge at Chelsea

EDITORIAL: Forget Platini. Forget Putin. Forget even Everton and the FA Cup. Chelsea fans have to be getting around today with an extra spring in their step.

Roman Abramovich's stunning bid for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has lit up the Premier League and handed Blues fans a belated Christmas present.

Talk of Abramovich wavering on Chelsea after Vladimir Putin's demand he become more involved in Russia's World Cup preparations can now be dismissed. As can concerns of cut-backs to fit into UEFA president Michel Platini's so-called Financial Fair Play Laws.

Abramovich's actions over the last couple of days has effectively stuck two fingers up at Platini's plans. Bids totalling over £50 million for Torres and Benfica defender David Luiz not only proves Abramovich's long-term commitment, but also ends the interference of Platini on Chelsea's transfer policy.

Abramovich and his board will decide who they sign and how - not those from UEFA HQ.

The fortunes of Chelsea and Liverpool this season will be decided in the coming days. But there's a third club that Abramovich's bold move now threatens.

Even though nothing is yet agreed, the media coverage of Chelsea's bid for Torres completely smashes what Edin Dzeko generated for Manchester City.

While they can boast Carlos Tevez (but for how long?), City bigwigs know they're struggling to land the global star names that can lift not only fortunes on the pitch - but also the club's profile around the world.

Torres is happy to risk supporter anger by demanding his move to Chelsea - something he would not have done if City had come calling. For all their riches, Abramovich has shown City they will continue to fall short when it comes to attracting the great names like Kaka or Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

And that task is only going to become even more difficult with a rejuvenated Chelsea again flexing their spending power. The arrivals of Torres and Luiz will make it easier for Abramovich to convince the big names to move to Stamford Bridge. Kaka, Pato, Ibrahimovic, take your pick. The Torres push has transformed Chelsea's standing again. A club on the wane, not attractive enough for Steven Pienaar to reject a move to Tottenham for? That speculation can now be put to bed.

And what about the Fenway Group? They must be thinking what's hit 'em. I'm sure they were expecting gushing press for shelling out over £22 million to prise Luis Suarez from Ajax. Instead, the doubts over their ability to compete at the end of the market Liverpool fans expect now remain.

Abramovich's actions certainly threaten to leave plenty of carnage.

Welcome back, Roman!

 It's all kicking off again! Click here for the No1 coverage of Chelsea's winter market transfer news.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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