LONDON—Today, 13 years after leaving the club and 12 years after retiring from the game altogether, Winston Bogarde has picked up his final paycheck from Chelsea FC.
The Dutch defender who played 12 times for the Blues, famously spent 4 years on the bench earning an estimated £40,000-per-week.However today, Bogarde bid a final farewell to the Chelsea payroll department, who the 46-year-old has grown incredibly close to over the years.
“Honestly I couldn’t name one teammate I had at the club or if I ever even played a game,” Bogarde said, in an emotional speech to the club’s entire administrative staff. “But goddamn I’ll never forget Sheila, Janice and the rest of the girls. They made the process of picking up 40 grand every Friday for 17 years seem like a piece of cake.”
But how did this all happen?
In the early 00’s pre-sugardaddy era of Chelsea, the club desperately tried to negotiate Bogarde’s contract, with the right-back refusing to leave Chelsea for less money. The Dutchman eventually agreed to tear up the remaining 2 years of his contract in exchange for a weekly “loyalty bonus” lasting until 2017.
“Hindsight is 20:20 I guess but yeah it turned out to be a much, much worse deal,” Chelsea’s chief executive at the time, Peter Kenyon, recalled. “What can I say, the man’s a genius negotiator.”