By the end of this week, Allan Donald may have pledged his loyalty to Warwickshire and turned his back on England.

Having made an impressive start as England's fast-bowling coach, Donald has been offered a long-term contract worth in excess of six figures. But Warwickshire are tugging at his heart-strings and I understand his loyalty to the Bears will prevail.

The money won't be the same, but the grind of touring during every English winter doesn't appeal, with his wife and two children happily ensconsed in their Birmingham home. He's done enough of that globetrotting with South Africa as a player for a decade.

Donald is also excited at the fresh page turned by Ashley Giles in his new role of director of cricket at Edgbaston. Both are dismayed at the poor performances from the playing staff and Giles is determined to restore the distinctive, collaborative atmosphere that contributed to the club's great years under the guidance of Dermot Reeve, Bob Woolmer and a stack of dedicated, loyal professionals who loved playing for Warwickshire.

Men like Dougie Brown. This supreme enthusiast has just ended a distinguished playing career with the Bears and, having narrowly missed out on the director of cricket post at Derbyshire, is ideally suited to help galvanise Edgbaston.

Donald and Brown would be popular appointments with the membership. Giles is determined to get the players enjoying each other's company again, to rid the dressing-room of the sullen defeatism of the Mark Greatbatch era and eliminate the blame culture.

I hope another former Warwickshire player survives the cull. Neal Abberley is an excellent batting coach on a one-to-one basis.

Just ask Ian Bell. It's to Abberley he turns for detailed batting advice, despite the army of specialists with Team England.

Just because Abberley's in his sixties doesn't mean he's not tuned into the modern game. And he's a Bear who has been part of Edgbaston's furniture as supporter, player and coach for 50 years.

You don't throw away such expertise and love for the club lightly. And at last, the new man in charge appreciates those Edgbaston traditions that must be maintained.

Hopefully, the men in suits with calculators at hand will tap into Giles' laudable vision - beginning with making a respectful offer to Donald this week. He won't be a difficult negotiator. Warwickshire is too important to him.


Special kind of shambles at Chelsea

In years to come, the hacks who have covered the Rise and Fall of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea Football Club will nod into the brandy glass and agree that it was a great time to be around.

It had everything. Bombast, evasions, half-truths, whoppers, paranoia. And that was just the part played by the club's chief executive, Peter Kenyon.

A detailed study of Kenyon's comments in the past year causes hilarity in the fairest of minds. There was the ridiculous comment just before the start of the 2006/7 season when The Great Visionary said that the title winners would come from a 'short-list of one'. And he wasn't talking about the eventual winners, Manchester United.

In that single sentence, Kenyon encapsulated the reason why Chelsea became the most unpopular club in the land. As a marketing man, obsessed with brand and the bottom line, he failed to grasp that football is not just a business, it's about glory and realising impossible dreams.

Ask Kenyon about Hereford United's famous FA Cup triumph over Newcastle United and he'd probably enquire how much the club made out of that unforgettable day in 1972.

On-the-record quotes kept coming back to haunt Kenyon. The way he briefed against Claudio Ranieri in 2004 was disgraceful, yet he had the gall to say: "This wave of media speculation about Claudio Ranieri's future is unhelpful. Claudio has three years to run on his contract".

Two months later, Ranieri was sacked.

Only eight days ago, Kenyon said: "I knew after the first week that Ranieri wasn't up to the job'.

Then he followed it up with: "There's speculation that if we don't beat Rosenberg tomorrow, Jose gets fired. That's not the way we think'.

Semantic debates about what constitutes a sacking clearly exercised Mourinho's lawyers last week, but there's no doubt that The Special One was being destabilised, while Kenyon denied any such thing.

How else can we construe Kenyon's comment that Chelsea had to win the Champions' League twice in the next five years to satisfy the ambitions of Roman Abramovich?

So to reach that particular holy grail, Chelsea have appointed a novice in Champions' League experience, who has been foisted on the players because he's a good friend of Abramovich. He replaces a manager who won the trophy in 2004 with a modest bunch of players at Porto and who then reached the semi-finals twice with Chelsea.

Those present at the shambolic press conference introducing Avram Grant last Friday have told me how deeply unimpressive it all appeared. Kenyon simply blustered while Grant looked overwhelmed by the intensity of the interrogations and hostility of the tone. It was the sort of challenge that brought out the best in Mourinho, a natural showman who could always point to the medals he had accrued if any reporter got too uppity.

Any professional footballer will tell you that you can tell within 30 seconds if a new manager is up to the job. They can smell hesitancy, a lack of confidence in the core values needed to dominate and inspire a dressing-room full of internationals.

Mourinho reeked of such dynamic qualities. In the last couple of years, he was disappointingly peevish at times, beginning with that dreadful assault on the integrity of referee Anders Frisk - but no one could ever doubt his rapport with the Chelsea players.

In the end, that is the quality which sets him apart from all but Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson in this country. And, unlike those two luminaries, Mourinho was loved by the key players at Stamford Bridge. He cared deeply about their welfare and coaxed influential performances out of them time after time.

Grant has no chance of matching such a body of work. The players who rallied around Mourinho won't find that extra one per cent for Grant, even if his vaunted people-skills usher in a less confrontational ambience.

Abramovich is now a laughing stock. Changing the station master in charge of his train set, bringing in his mate to coax mutinous millionaires, is bound to end in failure.

Chelsea fans are already rebelling against ridiculous admission prices, Kenyon's empty boasting has been exposed and it will be remarkable if Chelsea win the title this season after such a seismic upheaval.

The schism between Mourinho and his boss was inevitable because billionaires get their own way in the end. Mourinho brought his downfall partly on himself, but he will be back - as infuriatingly egotistical and endearingly dotty as ever. And successful.

As for the club, football fans up and down the land should rejoice. Chelsea FC are in the stocks and hopefully the ripe tomatoes will be raining in for a long time to come.