On the day that he sanctioned his fourth major sale of the summer - the midfielder Tiago to Lyon for £7.1m - Mourinho criticised the transfer policy of Ranieri that had landed him with players like Juan Sebastian Veron and Geremi who were on such high wages that they could not be sold. The Chelsea manager, who has spent £54m this summer, said that his approach to transfers had made the club less reliant on the enormous wealth of the club's proprietor.
The sale of Tiago takes Chelsea's transfer earnings this summer to £21.8m although of those sold only the Portuguese midfielder and Mateja Kezman were bought by Mourinho while others - Scott Parker and Mikael Forssell - pre-dated him. The Chelsea manager, whose team face West Bromwich Albion tonight, also said that the new signing Michael Essien, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Asier del Horno were not earning salaries as high as those paid by other top clubs.
"We have changed the wage structure to the point where Lyon can afford Tiago's salary while before, Internazionale could not afford to pay Juan Sebastian Veron's salary," he said. "We are not paying players to leave the club anymore. Lyon can afford to give Tiago a five-year contract and pay us €10m [£7.1m].
"When you talk about the amount of money Mr Abramovich has spent you are talking about players who arrived before I came. You cannot speak about Glen Johnson, Wayne Bridge, Veron, Crespo, Geremi, as my signings.
"I don't like the image [of Chelsea buying young players] because it is not a fair image. In the past the players that they bought, they could not sell. We had to pay for them to leave, or make up the difference in their wages. We sold Kezman, Parker, Tiago, Forssell and Jarosik [on loan] and we have not had to pay a single coin towards their wages. In return we have got good money and I think this is the new way.
"I would like the club to break even in five years' time. I have to care about the money. I don't see my job as being independent of other areas. I'm very happy because the club is breaking records with the new shirt. I don't sell shirts but there is a relationship between the shirts and the performance of the team. If we perform well they will sell more shirts.
"I never said with Essien that I want this player at any price. I said this is the kind of player I would like, but if we judged he was not a good investment for that price you would never hear me using that as an excuse. We paid around £25m for Essien. If you go to a cheaper player from, say, Internazionale, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, take his annual salary, multiply by five and then we will see who is the cheaper player."
While Mourinho sought to distance himself from the unrestricted, haphazard spending that went on in the summer that Abramovich took over the club he also said he was sorry to lose Tiago who had asked for the move to Lyon in order to get regular first-team football. He said that the his decision to leave had been "emotional" and paid tribute to the £8m signing from Benfica who featured in 52 games last season.
"He wants to go and he has been very professional about it," Mourinho said. "He said: 'Boss, I am sorry to leave but I am a professional and I want to play more. I have a good proposal from Lyon and it is a World Cup year."
Mourinho added that his anger with Ricardo Carvalho, who had complained about being dropped, had subsided and he had no intention of making the Portuguese defender apologise again. "The player is in the squad to face West Brom," Mourinho said. "He has been selected - it's over," he added. "He did what he did. He was punished by the club financially and the worst punishment a player can get is to miss a match."
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