Chelsea targeting youth, says chief executive Gourlay

A decade after owner Roman Abramovich's investment began the Blues board say they want returning manager Jose Mourinho to bring through the club's younger players
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been told to concentrate on developing young players in what is Roman Abramovich's 10th year as owner, according to chief executive Ron Gourlay.

The focus of bringing instant success to the club has been a burden on each of the nine managers who have worked under Abramovich, meaning youth development has often been neglected.

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But with Mourinho back in charge, Gourlay insists focusing on young players is now going to become one of their priorities.

"It has been a hugely successful decade for Chelsea Football Club since Roman Abramovich took control, with an unprecedented number of trophies in the last 10 years," Gourlay told reporters.

"Mr Abramovich’s early investment in playing staff paid dividends in creating a team admired around the world, but to keep Chelsea among the elite we have always known we must produce our own world-class talent and we are beginning to see the benefits of our academy, which will help us meet our long-term objectives for Financial Fair Play."

Meanwhile, Petr Cech believes the 10th anniversary of Abramovich's arrival at Stamford Bridge is further proof that those who questioned the Russian's long-term commitment were misguided.

"At the start people said that he would spend two or three years at Chelsea then would leave," he added.

"However his passion now is the same as when I saw him for the first time and I think that’s something which is precious because you know the club is in good hands."