How do you solve a problem like Roman Abramovich? I know, don’t work for him. Because chances are you’ll be out of the door quicker than you can say “I’ve just won you the Champions League.”
In 2003, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea and immediately signaled his intention of pumping millions and millions into the football club in an attempt to dominate Europe and the domestic competitions. He has eventually achieved such success, while those that did it for him have paid the price.
In the nine years since he purchased the club, Abramovich’s millions has helped Chelsea win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, two Community Shields and, most importantly, one Champions League.
Their most recent success was obviously the Champions League. The one trophy Abramovich only ever wanted. The likes of Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Luiz Scolari and Avram Grant were all axed for failing to give Abramovich what he wanted.
Roberto Di Matteo turns up, wins the blasted thing for him while he’s only in the job on a temporary basis and then loses the job six months after being given the role full time. Where is the justice in that? How can another manager come in an emulate the success Di Matteo gave Chelsea? Well, they can’t. It’s as simple as that.
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In a statement this morning, Chelsea said the reason behind them parting company with Di Matteo was down to recent performances and results not being good enough and that the owner felt a change was necessary. Two wins from their last eight games in all competitions isn’t ideal, agreed, but let us not forget that they are only four points behind league leaders Manchester City, in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals and still have a chance of qualifying for the knock out stage of the Champions League, however slim that chance may be. Oh, and is it worth mentioning that it’s only November?
Di Matteo’s sacking has highlighted a big problem that we could be facing in football. It makes you wonder how Mark Hughes still has a job at QPR having failed to win any of their opening 12 Premier League games this season. What about Roberto Mancini at Manchester City? He failed to advance through the Champions League group stage last season, and will fail again this year if they don’t beat Real Madrid tonight, after spending a whopping £500 million on some of the world’s best players. Why is he still in a job while Di Matteo signs on? That’s anyone’s guess.
The big question now is who will replace poor ol’ Di Matteo. Quite frankly, who would want to? There is no point talking about the hefty pay-outs Abramovich’s ‘failed’ managers receive as severance, because most managers, especially the likes of Pep Guardiola, will want to protect their reputation within the game.
Guardiola is the bookie’s favourite to be Abramovich’s next managerial puppet, but not before a temp manager completes the season for Di Matteo, wins some silverware and is slung out of the door with no thanks or recognition.
Because that’s what Chelsea and Abramovich do. If there’s someone out there who is better than, or who has a better track record, the current boss they will not think twice about making a change.
I fear we haven’t seen the end of Chelsea’s managerial merry-go-round and, for as long as Roman Abramovich continues playing his real life Football Manager game, there will be many more managers being punished for winning the club silverware.
Let’s just hope Abramovich’s habits do not rub off on any other clubs in the Premier League, because that will be the era when football stops being a sport and becomes a circus.
What do you think? Has Abramovich gone too far with the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo? Is this this the start of more to come in the Premier League. Have your say by commenting below.