Sadly for Chelsea fans Roman Abramovich’s trigger finger is once again demonstrating the fragile nature of his tenure at the club. Eight managers in nine years is an appalling statistic and one that can perhaps be held up to symbolise the unhealthy impact of wealthy owners in the modern game.When he took over the club in 2003 and sanctioned years of wild spending, Chelsea fans rightly believed they had hit the jackpot. Under Jose Mourinho they steamrollered the opposition to secure back-to-back league titles and a number of other domestic trophies.
Fans of other sides – much like they are doing with Man City today – muttered to themselves on the sidelines, arguing that all this cash must have some sort of catch with it.And slowly but surely we have begun to see that by selling their soul to a Russian oligarch Chelsea have had to pay a price.
Their fate is in the hands of a man who appears disconnected with the true workings of a real live football club. Buy the players, build the Academy, pay for the best manager and success will come – that’s what he thinks anyway, it worked for him in business (and perhaps on Football Manager).
But in reality, especially in the Premier League, that isn’t always the case and time is needed for sides to grow and develop.
During Mourinho’s reign Abramovich was guilty of being greedy, the football scores weren’t exciting enough, winning wasn’t enough, he wanted ito do it in style. So vanity projects like Andrei Shevchenko and Fernando Torres continue to clog up the Chelsea pay-roll and undermine the manager.
All this isn’t helped of course by the corrosive influence in the dressing room, Abramovich has again shown his naivety by developing unhealthy relationships with some of his players. John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, they all appear to have a direct line to the Russian’s ear, while each passing manager is forced to go through a go-between.That sort of set up will never work, the manager HAS to be number one in order for a dressing room to function. But until that alters at the Stamford Bridge I can see them pressing the self-destruction button once more as the players give up playing for their manager and start playing for themselves – again.