CHELSEA cannot wait for the 2022-23 season to end; their latest defeat at home to Brighton wasn’t a surprise given their recent form and at times, they looked awful. At the end of the game, the club’s owner, Todd Boehly, was abused by some fans sitting above the presidential suite. Most looked like Chelsea fans who have never known anything other than phenomenal success.
On social media, fans were bemoaning the fact that “Roman” handed the club to someone he thought he could trust and that without him, the club had nobody who knew how to run Chelsea properly. Apparently, the club is missing “Roman”. Wrong. The club is not missing the owner, they are yearning for the people behind the scenes that used to preside over transfers, such as “Marina”.
Secondly, “Roman” didn’t hand the club over, he sold it for a large sum of money. It was his club and now it belongs to the consortium that pays for the running of Chelsea FC. Football may belong to the fans as it is their entertainment, but the clubs belong to owners, who ensure the fans can have their football fix. That sounds hard-nosed, but it is a fact. There was no way Abramovich could continue as owner of Chelsea. He’s Russian and has links to Vlad Putin. In the current situation, he could not possibly remain in his position. He was never going to be Chelsea’s owner forever. He had given it a good run, poured in money and went through the cream of European football management. It worked because Chelsea continually won major prizes. It may not have made for a stable environment, but it was effective.
Having owners who have Wall Street (or similar) roots introduces a different dynamic. It’s now the macho world of finance where alpha-males throw money around and get into the art of “dick measuring”. The money Chelsea have spent sends messages but it is clear that somebody forgot to work out if (a) the players were the right ones and (b) how they were going to fit together in an already sizeable squad. Having three or four coaches in a single season doesn’t help but Chelsea may have run out of suitable candidates for a job that is looking less attractive by the week.
Why would the likes of Nagelsmann go to Chelsea if it was merely an 18-month stint that ends because the team loses a few games? It can only look like a stain on the CV. Frank Lampard has lost every game since he took over. He must wonder what he let himself in for – he left the club with his fledgling managerial career looking shot, he has returned for more punishment. He must be concerned that he will get left holding the baby!