Roman Abramovich... Such a divisive figure in English football. There can be no arguing that he changed the way that things are done, City, PSG, Monaco, he was the first.
I’m in that tricky grey area, I’ve supported Chelsea for as long as I can remember (they were the first team I had ever heard of and it stuck) but I don’t have much memory of the debts and the last season I can remember even remotely is 00/01 (I was 8/9). So whenever somebody asks me who I support and why, I have to explain all of this when they say ‘So you just jumped on the band wagon’ (as I’ve never been able to go and watch them play).
In the years immediately before Roman though there were still players I adored as much as Mata, DL4, and Didier.
I always had to argue at school why Hasselbaink and Gudjonsen were great strikers before Roman. Since he arrived my attitudes towards football have changed immensely, I can still remember when winning the (soon to be called) Arsenal trophy was considered a huge benefit, now I’m livid that we finished third.
With RA, we have seen so many ups and downs, often criticized for the trigger finger with managers, but with recent developments it has always been clear that he wants to build a self sustaining club. We broke the record for games without losing at home, the record for winning in the FA cup, we won the champions league playing against two of the best teams in the world with our ‘anti-football’. Jose brought the ‘us-against-the-world’ mentality into the club as a whole, and we take it on when: Howard Webb gives Utd 2 penalties in 1 game, Tom Ovrebo is a total c**t, John Terry slips/gets accused of racism/shags somebody’s ex, we take it all in and throw it all back.
Yes RA spent a hell of a lot of money (which may or may not have been gained through ethical measures) on transfer fees for us over the years, but he’s spent a lot on facilities, coaches, scouts, managers, and infrastructure to develop the club in a way that buying players and trophies never could.
RA watched his first football game in 2003, and decided he wanted to buy a club; the choices were between Liverpool and Chelsea. Early doors Champions League football was a priority. Then this happened.
So since that goal, I have to say thank you Roman, for making such a wise decision, and thank you for allowing me to be smug when United fans call me a glory hunter, or Spuds fans call my team a disgrace, because of you, we are elite.