Medical insider exposes 'brutal reality' as Chelsea put stars at risk in exchange for cash
Chelsea prioritise lucrative overseas tours in less than ideal conditions over giving their players the best possible pre-season programme.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis.
Chelsea were thumped 4-0 by Arsenal in their final match of their pre-season tour of the United States last Sunday (24 July).
The clash took place in Florida and came after the Blues also played matches against Club America in Los Angeles and Charlotte FC in North Carolina.
As relayed by The Sun last Thursday (21 July), the clash against Charlotte was delayed by a thunderstorm, with fans already in the stadium advised to seek shelter elsewhere.
Severe weather and extensive travel are far from ideal conditions for pre-season fitness building, explains Dinnery
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“The ideal situation was probably what most clubs had last year,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“In effect, you were allowed to train at home. You remained at your clubs and weren’t travelling here, there and everywhere.
“Those clubs that are flying to far-flung corners of the world, every moment you’re in the air, you’re struggling with jet lag. It’s also cutting into your workload as you can’t use that time out on training pitches.
“When you factor in the elements, you’re at the mercy of whatever they might be. The conditions of the pitches, the quality of the officiating, the opposition – these are all factors too.
“If it wasn’t for fans and, ultimately, money, they would ideally be tailoring this pre-season programme around their own facilities. The brutal reality isn’t ideal.
“You can see why they do it and it isn’t all money, but a lot of those decisions are made with that in mind.”