Football: Chelsea's trophy-only bonuses

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The Independent Online
THE WAGES spiral may be destroying football as we know it, but Chelsea's players can rightfully claim that they are doing their bit to improve things. According to a report yesterday, they have volunteered to eschew all win bonuses next season unless they come up with some silverware.

Last season they received around pounds 600 for every victory as long as they remained in the Premiership top six. Under a new agreement, they would collect around pounds 100,000 a man for winning the title, and pounds 50,000 if they win the FA Cup. Any success in the Champions' League would be similarly rewarded.

"The Chelsea players came to the management and said they wanted to be paid bigger bonuses for success and nothing for anything other than success," said the chairman, Ken Bates, in the club's magazine.

"There aren't many clubs where the players would say that, because clubs are happy for players to pick up bonuses for mediocre performances."

Roberto Di Matteo is unlikely to be a beneficiary of the new arrangements. The 29-year-old midfielder wants to return to Serie A to regain his international place. Roma and Lazio are favourites to sign him.

The League Managers' Association has backed Arsenal's stance over their unsettled striker, Nicolas Anelka, who wants to move to Real Madrid, and has admitted that his brothers have been speaking to the Spanish club. The LMA chief executive, John Barnwell, is backing Wenger's call for a Uefa investigation into the "illegal" approaches by Real.

Oumar Konde has left Blackburn less than a year after arriving from Basle. The Swiss defender is to join the German club, Freiburg, and Rovers will receive a fee of pounds 400,000.