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Chelsea fans must tell Abramovich to butt out

Andrew Roar Rookie

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    In the past decade, Roman Abramovich has delivered Chelsea FC fans glory with one hand, yet has slapped them in the face with the other.

    The billions poured into the London club by the Russian oligarch owner have come at a price. Abramovich controls the purse strings, so he controls the team.

    Yet Abramovich has escaped persecution from supporters, who are fearful he’ll cut the funding.

    The scenes in the terraces at Stamford Bridge have never been so troubling in the modern era of the club.

    Blues interim manager Rafael Benitez is criticized, win or lose, by Chelsea fans who lament Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo’s unjust sacking.

    Misfiring Spanish striker Fernando Torres is also no longer immune from supporters’ rage.

    Targeting the manager is not the approach the fans should be taking. They must demand Abramovich keep his meddling nose out of the footballing aspects of the club. Only then will the club reach its potential.

    After sacking Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas Boas and Roberto Di Matteo (a group with five Champions League titles between them), Abramovich has made it virtually impossible to attract a world-class manager to coach his team.

    Ancelotti’s assistant Ray Wilkins was also sacked on a whim; a decision that caused Chelsea’s 2010-11 campaign to implode.

    Given Abramovich’s trigger finger, is it any wonder Pep Guardiola snubbed the available Chelsea Job? Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp would do well to follow Guardiola’s example and stay in Germany.

    Abramovich has also removed his managers’ say in buying players. His board is responsible for selecting new recruits.

    Important first team players including David Luiz, Eden Hazard and Oscar were bought without consulting the manager.

    These players fit Abramovich’s ‘attractive football’ mould and the manager must work with what he’s given.

    The oil baron’s meddling extends past purchases and into team selection.

    Benitez, like AVB, Di Matteo and Ancelotti before him, has been coaxed into playing 50-million-pound-man Torres, just as Mourinho was instructed to play another flop – Andriy Shevchenko.

    The fans have openly booed Torres for his poor performances and called on Benitez to install new striker Demba Ba. In reality, Benitez’s hands are tied.

    At the same time, Abramovich has demanded a youthful team.

    Legendary midfielder Frank Lampard has been told to move on at season’s end and stalwart Florent Malouda has been excluded from the first team and must train with the reserves.

    Even Benitez has admitted his Russian boss takes a hands-on approach:

    “He has ideas. I have ideas. We share ideas. We explained to each other what we’re trying to do. It’s fine.”

    Fine? Yeah right.

    For all the silverware that Abramovich’s money has delivered, his endless meddling in the actual football played by his club is unacceptable.

    It’s time Chelsea fans put aside the fear of daddy pulling the trust fund and embrace a bit of anti-parental misbehaviour.

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • January 25th 2013 @ 10:08am
      Johnno said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

      Roman’s the boss , the fans should butt out. He brogans int he money, buys the expensive players, pays for the whole thing, with out roman Abromovich , chelsea fans wouldn’t have such a good club, he brings in the money not the fans. So the fans should shut up and let Roman Abromovich run the show, unless the fans can bring in the money.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 11:57am
        Kev said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        Based on that flawed logic Abramovich shouldn’t bother hiring a manager and just manage the team himself. Having a massive ego and sticking your nose in areas that you have no expertise just because you write the cheque’s is a recipe for a dysfunctional team. It’s interesting I recall Mick Malthouse saying that at Collingwood the culture there was one of knowing your role, doing it well and not going beyond that. Just because you bring in money doesn’t mean you know how to do anything.

    • Roar Guru

      January 25th 2013 @ 10:09am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Are you suggesting Chelsea fans would prefer…

      .. life without Abramovic, which we remember as a life of mediocrity, unfulfilled potential & constant yo-yoing between the Top Division & 2nd Division football, rather than …

      .. living with Abramovic and watching a team of superstars winning several EPL titles, a UCL title and challenging for trophies in England every year?

      • February 19th 2013 @ 2:13pm
        The Jigger said | February 19th 2013 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        I would. Even Ken Bates had been getting us to finals for some years before Abramovic arrived. Now Chelsea is just a billionaire’s plaything to do with as he pleases. All those managers sacked one after another? Compare that to clubs like Man Utd and Arsenal. Any Chelsea fan who thinks his club is viewed as anything other than a bit of a joke by the rest of the football world is highly delusional. We’ve developed about two players in the last 10 years (Terry and Bertrand) because it’s easier to spend millions on underperforming ‘superstars’ bought on the owner’s egotistical whim. Please, Roman, go. Maybe the cupboard will be bare for a while but if the club can be built on a more solid foundation rather than a foreigner’s ill-gotten gains, I will celebrate.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 10:14am
      Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      Speaking of Chelsea what are peoples thoughts on the Hazard incident?,that punk ball boy(he was 17 by the way)deserved it in my eyes!

      • January 25th 2013 @ 10:30am
        Wanderer Chris said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        I found a lot of comments on the matter to be rather silly, at least regarding the defense of the ball boy and suggesting it was wrong of a ‘man’ to attack a ‘boy’. Hazard is only 21 and the ball boy is 17, he deserved a right slapping. I think the issue revolves more around professionality, not age.

        In regards to this article, I can certainly understand the premise of the argument. It’s kind of a rock and a hard place scenario, unfortunately for Chelsea fans, evidently they can’t have their cake and eat it too. It would be interesting to see how well they could hold onto any sort of form or continued success if Abramovich was to relinquish ownership. Surely at this stage there would be interested parties that would take more of a relaxed, back seat role to the actual team structure and purchasing of players considering the assets the club now possesses?

        • January 25th 2013 @ 10:46am
          Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          Yeah its not great look but blown out proportion completeley.You would think Hazard was laying the boots into him the way people carry on,he was trying to get the ball out from underneath and the ball boy had a nice puffy jacket on and didn’t look short of a few extra pounds either,he wouldn’t of felt a thing.

          • January 25th 2013 @ 11:05am
            Wanderer Chris said | January 25th 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            Hahaha! I also saw a lot of people suggesting it was on par with Cantona’s Kung Fu lesson; talk about blowing this situation out of proportion! How dare people liken Hazard with Dieu! 🙂

            • January 25th 2013 @ 12:12pm
              nickoldschool said | January 25th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              The ball boy deserved a proper hiding for what he did!!!!

              Ok, A player should never touch anyone on and off the pitch (bar king Eric of course) but Hazard’s reaction was pretty mild IMO. All in all, just a funny moment, nothing malicious really although the young chubby prat had his moment of glory. Still laughing.

              • January 25th 2013 @ 8:13pm
                Beardan said | January 25th 2013 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

                It was 2 big kids fighting over a ball like two little kids. The bigger kid kicked the little kid for not giving him the ball. The big kid, cause he is a professional, cant do it, even if the little smart alec deserved a kick up the back side. The big kid should get 6 weeks for being a dope, and the little punk should never be allowed to be a ball boy again and have to give back all of his free tracksuits.

              • January 26th 2013 @ 8:40am
                nickoldschool said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

                Hazard didn’t kick the 17yo he merely tried to kick The ball from under him. Ideally yes he should have stood there and wait for the Swansea supporter/ ball boy/ Swansea shareholder kid to give the ball back but he has a job to do, play football and win the game.

                I would add one match max to Hazard already three-match ban. Anything above that would be too harsh IMO as there was no deliberate violence.The good bollocking the ball boy already got from his dad + having to wear tracksuit pants on match day is already a harsh enough penalty.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 10:54am
        Titus said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        Agreed Brick, disgraceful action by the ballboy, unbelievable that kids can interfere in a game like that at this level. Imagine ballkids at the tennis doing similar things.

        Hazard had every right to try and get the ball off him………though to be honest the boy deserved a good kicking.

        • January 25th 2013 @ 10:57am
          Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | January 25th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          He’s lucky it wasn’t Cantona let me tell ya!

    • January 25th 2013 @ 2:35pm
      Australian Rules said | January 25th 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

      It seems this article should be titled: “The problem with private ownership”.

      Ambramovic is simply exercising the rights (and whims) for which he has paid billions. That’s the system.

      • Roar Guru

        January 25th 2013 @ 4:35pm
        Fussball ist unser leben said | January 25th 2013 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

        @AR

        Which AFL team do you support?

        When your last coach was appointed, how much input did you have in the decision-making process?

        How about the players your team drafted this year & sacked last season – how much input did you have in those decisions?

        I’m keen to understand just if the public ownership model is truly democratic & egalitarian …. or just more spin without substance.

        • January 25th 2013 @ 5:15pm
          Australian Rules said | January 25th 2013 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

          Every AFL club is owned by its members.

          All members have voting rights – meaning they vote in the Board…who, in turn, appoint the football department (which includes the coach, fitness staff and recruiters).

          It’s not a system silly enough to give members a direct say in coaches or players (as you cynically infer)…but what it does do, is ensure that the people at the top are accountable for their performance – stuff up, and you’re out.

          It’s better than being at the whim of a corrupt Russian oligarch…and without being perfect, probably as democratic a model as you’ll find in sport.

          I know which one I prefer.

          …and I bet I know some Rangers fans who would agree…and some Man Utd fans…and some CGU fans…and some…

          • Roar Guru

            January 26th 2013 @ 8:16am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | January 26th 2013 @ 8:16am | ! Report

            “Every AFL club is owned by its members”

            And, I laughed & I laughed.

            So, are you suggesting that GWS’s 6k members – paying $200-$300/yr – own the Club? They’re responsible for raising capital? They voted in the Board?

            When South Melbourne AFL club was liquidated, are you saying the Members made that decision?

            When Fitzroy was liquidated, when Brisbane Bears were merged & had their name changed … are you saying the members were involved in these decisions?

            Footscray hasn’t won a Grand Final for 60 years. I guess the owners/members must be pretty content because they don’t do anything to alter the situation.

            Even when you say “members vote in the Board” that’s NOT true for ALL clubs & all Members.

            ONLY fully paid Adult members have a vote. Concession members, junior members, pet members have ZERO voting rights.

            All spin & no substance.

            • January 27th 2013 @ 11:49am
              Australian Rules said | January 27th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

              The issue here (and point of the article) is private ownership and, in particular, Ambramovic and Chelsea. Instead of debating the *issue*, you throw barbs at the AFL.

              Talk about desperate spinning.

              And to clarify for others…the Giants are 1 year old. The AFL obviously supported that club in its infancy. When ready, it will be entirely member-owned like the others.

              South Melb? Fitzroy? are you really digging back to 1981? And somehow Footscray’s lack of flags is relevant to this discussion?

              Das spinnen ist Ihr leben

      • January 27th 2013 @ 1:12pm
        Midfielder said | January 27th 2013 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

        AR

        Your argument with private V public ownership models is worth exploring.

        Crowds …

        Would who owns the club have any effect on crowds in the AFL?
        Would the entry price ne any different depending on who owns the club?

        Media….

        Would who owns a club determine the media deal?
        Does ownership affect the type of media you receive?

        Competition….

        Does ownership have any effect on selling a product i.e. locally, internationally?
        Does ownership have any effect on expansion of a sport?

        Belly Up….

        If a team goes belly up, and let’s assume it is a considerable amount of money say the team needs ten million per year…. What model will likely find the money?

        Does size matter…. i.e. does one size fit all ..

        The AFL has according to the ABS 250K players… Football has 380 million..

        The AFL has say 50 professional and semi-professional clubs… Football has 150 professional leagues with many league have a number of divisions.

        Can a model developed for a single country where it is the dominate sport with 48% of the population be used across 150 professional leagues?

        Discussion …

        My take AR is you make an error in applying what works in AFL by assuming the norms of the southern Australian states apply to the world at large. While I agree the AFL has world’s best crowds figures and has been very well managed for the past 100 odd years … it is still only a local game and has no real world pressures.

        • January 28th 2013 @ 2:46pm
          Australian Rules said | January 28th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

          It’s an interesting discussion…and obviously, one model doesn’t necessarily fit all others.

          My original point was merely that private ownership is part n parcel of European football. Part of the trade off for that “security” that private funds brings, is that the fans (and often the club itself) are held to ransom by the whims of their billionaire owners. That’s what we’ve seen from Chelsea, Man Utd etc.

          I actually didn’t mention the AFL system, Fussball did, in his typical sarcastic derision. I merely pointed out that it’s the most democratic system available (IMO) and that whilst clubs like Chelsea can “buy” trophies via the deep pockets of their owners, that model has obvious pitfalls.

      • January 28th 2013 @ 8:59pm
        Andrew said | January 28th 2013 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

        It was not my intention to suggest that Abramovich’s private ownership of Chelsea is wrong. Nor did I intend to suggest he remove his funds and let the club slide into mediocrity.

        His money does give him certain entitlements regarding the running of the club. I simply believe he should moderate his involvement in how the club actually play football, given his limited knowledge of the game itself.

    • January 25th 2013 @ 6:58pm
      Isinta Peter said | January 25th 2013 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

      Much as Abramovich is the owner and source of funds, his club cant do without suppoters.Their role goes along way in motivating players, adding up to the match day collections and their goowill to the club keeps the name selling.Their role is significant they should be heard.

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