In June 2003, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea, and since the takeover, the club have won 13 major trophies – the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League twice, the Premier League five times, the FA Cup four times (with 2010 providing the club’s first ever league and FA Cup double), and the League Cup three times, making Chelsea the second most successful English trophy winning team in the decade with 15 honours, behind only Manchester United with 17 honours in the same timeframe.
It’s fair to say that Chelsea have been highly successful in Abramovich’s era, as the Russian has spent a lot of money on the club and his investment has indeed paid off.
However, one thing that has been lacking under Roman’s era has been stability and continuity. In Roman’s 16 years, Chelsea have gone through 10 permanent managers in that time, plus a number of interim and caretaker bosses in between appointments.
No Chelsea manager has lasted up to four seasons under the Russian, and Jose Mourinho remains the only manager to have gone beyond two years as Chelsea boss.
On 14 July 2018, Maurizio Sarri was appointed manager of Chelsea, replacing Antonio Conte who was sacked the day before, and one year after, the Italian is being linked with a move away from the club – highlighting just how unstable Chelsea have been.
As a result of Chelsea’s regular sacking of managers, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has paid out £92.9m in compensation to sacked managers, with Antonio Conte being the latest on the long list of departed managers.
It’s disturbing to the image of the club that Sarri is being linked with a move away from the club, as Chelsea might not be able to attract high profile managers anymore, if this continues.
It has been a difficult season for Sarri, as the Italian has faced a lot of pressure from the fans, media and Chelsea board in the course of the season, and it’s now safe to say that he met his target in his first season at the club and England.
Chelsea won the Europa League, and finished third behind two outstanding teams in Manchester City and Liverpool. Chelsea only lost another domestic final on penalties. Plenty of us (including me) have criticised Sarri, but he can rightly hit back by saying he’s fulfilled his target and that it was a good season for him.
At some point this season, there were talks of sack, and even after the Italian tried to steady the ship, those sack rumours never really left, and it became worse before the Europa League final that reports claimed Sarri’s future at Stamford Bridge was dependent on Chelsea winning the Europa League final against Arsenal.