The real boss

The world sees Chelsea FC as a Football Club, whereas the owner Roman Abramovich sees Chelsea FC as his new costly toy. In particular, the managers of Chelsea FC. When he gets bored of a manager, he throws him out. Almost everyone who follows Football knows this by now. As a fan of Chelsea FC, I see Manchester United, Arsenal, and Everton with envy. How it works for these clubs to have a consistent manager even though the managers of these clubs don’t add trophy to the club every year? Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson are almost synonymous. But to create such a legacy is not what Chelsea needs now. A stint of three reasonable years isn’t asking for much. Also the fans of Chelsea FC needs to understand that even Fergie was very close under the axe four years into his tenure. Had they not won the FA cup third round against Nottingham Forest, thanks to the goal from Mark Robins, their history over the past 22 years would have been altogether different for Manchester United. And Manchester United finished thirteenth that season (1989-90). It took a long seven years for even the mighty Fergie to win the league title. Persistence with the same manager is the key to set up a world class football club. Injecting the cash from oil well into the club might win trophies in the short term but it is not a sustainable mechanism.

Arsene Wenger’s story is more than just a case of Football Management. He is one manager who earns profits to the management rather than spending millions freely. Not many football coaches will be ready to carry the financial debt stress due to building a stadium on his shoulders. After their Emirates stadium project, the period saw very less but futuristic signings from the `professor` which helped Arsenal to post a 56 million pounds profit before tax during the year 2010-11. Though this resulted in Arsenal not being in a position to compete for the league title, they always qualified for the Champions League. Support from the board and the fans are crucial as winning trophies alone does not define the success of a club. Sustainable presence, pride and growth does.

Everton’s manager David Moyes is another commendable manager who has had a tenure of more than ten years now with the club. Before he took charge of the club, the club hasn’t finished in the top 10 of the league table for six years. And after he took over, the club has finished below top 10 only in 3 of the 10 years. They qualified for UEFA champions league once and qualified for UEFA cup thrice. A manager with a record of just over 40% wins has made a statement on sustainable presence and development in the premier league. This is not possible without the support of the owner and the fans. 

It is very much a possibility of building a club by dropping into the mid table in the early years. The owner just needs some patience to give the manager a minimum of three year spell to form a stable squad when the dressing room is so powerful with experienced players. These experienced players are stuck in some system they have followed over years. In my honorable opinion, Andre Villas Boas is not a manager who should have been sacked but who should have been given full support. Had the owner supported the manager instead of the aging players, he would have turned the club’s fortune in two or three years. Finally, I envy Inter for the support shown by Moratti on Ranieri even after the Champions League exit. I am hoping that the mentality of Roman and the Chelsea fans change.

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