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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 11:07 GMT
Chelsea chief reveals China plan
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon
Kenyon believes the Asian deal with act as a stepping stone
Chief executive Peter Kenyon believes Chelsea's new deal with the Asian Football Confederation will boost their popularity worldwide.

Under the four-year agreement the Premiership champions will sponsor and aid the development of the AFC's grass-roots programmes in China.

And Kenyon said: "Chelsea's vision is to be recognised as the number one club in the world by 2014.

"Part of that involves serious participation in football in Asia."

He added: "Football in this region has the ambition and ability to challenge European football from the grassroots upwards.

"If Chelsea can help achieve this through involvement in areas such as grassroots, youth, coaching, education, marketing, sports medicine, media and fans, this will bring long-term benefits to us all."

AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam has welcomed the participation of Chelsea in the Vision Asia programme.

He said: "This is not a business relationship. It's more of a development partnership. The AFC will benefit greatly from this and I don't expect that Chelsea will benefit financially from this agreement."



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