Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has branded rivals Manchester United and Arsenal as hypocrites in the debate over tapping-up.

Last season Chelsea were accused of the ‘tapping’ of players and their treatment of referees.

But Kenyon believes that the reaction from Old Trafford and Highbury, reflected the two club’s desperation to keep pace with Chelsea.

Kenyon said: “It is born out of hypocrisy and fundamental insecurity. There have been two kids on the block for 12 years. Now there is suddenly a third kid and that one is threatening to be more successful than the other two and they don’t like it.

“That is what this nonsense is about. They are trying to blow us off course, they are trying to blow us away from our plans and stop us winning.

“Is it disrupting us? Not really, but it is time consuming. But it is not going to stop us from being a successful club. We have to accept it but we don’t like it.

“Some of the instances where Chelsea have been vilified go on every day and, guess what, it goes on with Chelsea players too. But we have chosen not to complain. We will not put ourselves in that position again.

“I’m not confident that relations with Arsenal will get better. We will not be going for Ashley Cole, but we will not be sniped at.”