Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay insists the club are doing nothing wrong by loaning out 26 players this summer.
The Blues agreed temporary deals with a host of clubs around Europe this summer in an attempt to increase their first team opportunities. Many of the 26 players are youngsters but more established stars, such as Fernando Torres, were also sent on loan.
The system has been criticised by many pundits in the past, claiming they are taking advantage of a flawed system and hoarding young talent purely for profit. However, Gourlay claims every player currently out on loan is kept in the loop at Stamford Bridge and have a chance to break into the Chelsea first team.
He cites Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne as examples, despite the fact both were sold for profit this year, reinforcing the theory that Chelsea are seeking profit, not talent. Lukaku joined Everton for £28 million while De Bruyne was sold to Wolfsburg for £17 million.
"What people don't see is that it's a massive development piece,' said Gourlay in an interview with The Evening Standard. "I'll give you two examples: De Bruyne and Lukaku.
"They were both bought as strong potential future players. We knew they had enough pedigree. Both players were very much in our plans. It didn't work out and the opportunity arose to sell them. Best for the club and best for the players."
Gourlay continued to defend Chelsea's loaning system by revealed that the club continue to keep in contact with each and every one of the players for the duration of their loan spell. He says the almost pedantic level of reports created throughout a player's loan spell helps them to develop.
He said: "The loan system is not just a matter of saying, 'Okay, we'll see you in 12 months.' We've only loaned players out to teams that allow day-to-day communication by our management team. Within 30 minutes of a game finishing, every player reports into someone at the club.
"That's the reason that these players develop."
The quotes will do little to convince those critics who have so persistently tried to bring the potential moral implications of Chelsea's loan system into the limelight.
Keeping young players on the books with the intention of loaning them out before selling them for profit dehumanises the player himself. It treats them as stock, buying low and selling high.
Selling the likes of Lukaku, after having spent two seasons on loan to West Brom and Everton for profit, may have only served to harm the player's career. However, it did help Chelsea fall in line with Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations.
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