Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Abramovich's Reign of Terror: a summary

Russian oil tycoon and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich celebrates his tenth year with the Premier Club this week.  Weirdly, that sounds about right.   It's not like 'woh where did 10 years go?!'

Abramovich famously came to power in 2003 when he bought the heavily in debt Chelsea for £140million.  Initially he supported then manager Claudio Ranieri until about 5 minutes later when he got bored because they hadn't won the Champions League yet and so he went on a firing spree of about 25 managers in 10 years.

The first to truly star for Abramovich was The Special One, who won the league and reached the semis of the Champs League twice in a row, then came Mr Toad

Until Luiz Felipe Scolari took over and failed to win anything.  The punishment for not winning all of the trophies on your very first go at Chelsea is death, but since murder is still technically illegal it is very difficult for Abramovich to implement this particular company guideline.  It's like if you play the first level of Sonic 1 but don't win the emerald, and instead of simply resetting the megadrive and trying again, someone comes into your room with a crowbar, throws you out the window and replaces you with someone from a different country.

Carlo Ancelotti faired slightly better and lasted two season with Chelsea.  Despite winning the league and then FA Cup in one season, the Russian owner grew tired again when the Italian manager didn't replicate his team's form the following season and was unceremoniously binned for his lack of trophy acquisition.


I liked AVB too, but he tried to get rid of all the old racists and fat players at the club and they didn't like it.  Also he was really young.  In all fairness, he has the absolute worst win ratio percentage of any Abramovich era manager (43% - Jose Mourinho and Ancelotti were both 67% btw) so it's hardly surprising that he was launched into outer space, or wherever it is he went.  Also he had to deal with Fernando Torres, who has been absolutely shite for Chelsea, under the orders that he had to play because he was the Russian's favourite toy.


Roberto Di Matteo took over half way through the legendary Portuguese manager's turn, showing absolute loyalty to his former friend by immediately taking his job, and somehow, defying all known laws of physics, managed to win the Champions League by defending.

Despite delivering the coveted holy grail of a European trophy, Di Matteo was also dismissed through the trap door in Roman's office floor.  His replacement: the incredible Rafa Benitez, hated by all throughout the land.  He basically came in as a WWE villain but less homoerotic and more Spanish

So now here we are - only £700million-ish of players later and about 8 managers, £80million spent on the ghosts of Andri Shevchenko and Fernando Torres, and a bunch of won silverware, right back where we started.

The Happy One is back to revive the fortunes of West London's blue team without the heroics of Didier Drogba but with the now proven racist antics of JT and if there's one thing we can learn from the Abramovich era, it's that managerial stability is the key to winning trophies.

But also that it totally isn't.