Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has the power but still there’s no Champions League glory
During the recent legal battle between Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky in the London courts it was claimed that Chelsea’s owner “played a central role in the selection of members of President Putin’s cabinet” after his rise to political prominence around 12 years ago.
Described by one Moscow correspondent as “a consummate, steely backroom Kremlin operator”, it comes as no surprise that Abramovich has found it pretty easy to hire and fire Chelsea managers.
Stamford Bridge, after all, is toy town compared to Putin’s political empire, where the objectives are never compromised the way they are in London SW6.
As the arrival of Eddie Newton as assistant to Roberto Di Matteo on Monday revived Ken Bates-era Chelsea, a question perplexing the football trade was: what exactly does Abramovich want, what is the end game here?
Ever since Berezovsky’s adversary embedded himself in the European entertainment industry by buying the club from Bates, he has pursued two sometimes contradictory aims.