Chelsea’s Abramovich should learn from Man City and Man United

Comment: Harry Kemble examines Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's hiring & firing tendency since buying the club in 2003

roman abramovich
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 Photo: M Lystseva, via Wikimedia

roman abramovich

Leading up to Christmas my mother would recite a tale about a young boy who was spoilt by his father after receiving all his presents before the big day.

The boy was so indulged that before long he had nothing left to receive.

Of course, if the boy had bided his time – and not been given what he wanted straight away – he would have built an understanding of each toy and loved each one for its individual allure.

Chelsea are now looking for their ninth manager in the nine years after Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking on Wednesday following a run of results that “have not been good enough”.

Chelsea’s run in that time stands at eight games, two wins, two draws and four losses.

Since Jose Mourinho was fired in 2007, each of Abramovich’s last four managers have lasted between seven to eight months.

Di Matteo reached 262 days in the hot seat before Abramovich grew impatient – five more days than Andre Villas-Boas and 15 more days than Avram Grant.

The Italian fared better than Luiz Felipe Scolari who completed just 223 before being dispensed with.

Managers were given funds to buy whoever they wanted; Scolari was in the market for Deco and Robinho, Villas-Boas set his sights on Gary Cahill and Edinson Cavani and Di Matteo targeted Eden Hazard but was also considering the signing of Radamel Falcao for a reported £48m.

The levels of glee and excitement were at fever pitch amongst Chelsea fans as each manager was announced.

So what impact is each dismissal having on a club that became European champions for the first time on six months ago?

The club is making little progress. In fact, arguably, they have remained static since Di Matteo’s arrival in March.

They are teetering on the brink of Champions League elimination and are currently embroiled in another rather embarrassing race row.

It sounds all familiar doesn’t it?

Last season saw both Manchester clubs exit at the group stage, yet, there was little mention of either Roberto Mancini nor Sir Alex Ferguson losing their job.

With Ferguson at the helm, Manchester United, have been knocked out at the group stages three times in 1995, 2006, and 2011.

But, nonetheless, the legendary Scottish manager has remained at the club to win Europe’s most coveted competition twice.

Manchester City have experienced another rough year, sitting bottom of Group D with two points out of possible 12 with their destiny out of their hands.

However, while Abramovich has wielded his axe again, the possibility of Mancini being fired seems unlikely as he took his side to the summit of English football just six months ago.

As the dust settles on another bygone era talk has already swung to who will replace Di Matteo.

Rafael Benítez, Pep Guardiola and ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp are the bookmakers’ favourites for the role.

But market prices grow much longer after those three.

For loyal supporters this is an agonising time. Not only have they just seen the swift sacking of a club legend, but where do Chelsea turn now?

The toyshop is looking rather bare.

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