The Roman Abramovich Era is ending after nearly two decades of unprecedented success, both in our history and the history of English football. Safe to say that whoever takes over next probably won’t be as magnanimous with their “investments” and as relentlessly focused on winning above all else as one of the biggest Chelsea fans in existence.
But even as Abramovich leaves, at least partly on his terms if allowed by the UK government, he leaves behind a club transformed from top to bottom, not just on the pitch, but on the training ground and in the various facilities, both physically and, perhaps most importantly, ideologically — and not just in the men’s team, but in the women’s team, and the youth Academy as well. The new owners do not have to build again, they just have to (at least) maintain things as they are.
That of course might be a great challenge in and of itself, but we can perhaps remain as optimistic and positive as the head coach, who still sees the club as a perfect place to be.
“No, [no problem staying]. The opposite of problems staying. I said many times I love working in Premier League. I love to be in England and feel the tradition and love for sports in general and football in particular. It’s an amazing place to be. Chelsea, for me, is a perfect fit.
“I love to be here. I love everything about the club. Hopefully, it continues. There is not an uncertainty, but isn’t it always as a football manager? I am used and trained to live with it.
“Of course, different levels and this is quite a level I have to be honest. I am positive, I hope things will end well. [...] Still, I think Chelsea is a strong club and will stay a strong club. Our owner decided to sell the club and he sells a strong, solid, and very well organised club at the highest level. [...] Whoever buys Chelsea is lucky to have it.”
We’re used to coaches getting hired and fired, sometimes perhaps a bit too often, but at least one entire generation have grown up with only Abramovich in charge of the club. And Chelsea really have only had three owners in our 117-year history: Gus Mears (and his descendants), Ken Bates, and now Abramovich, whose 19 years falls just short of Bates’ 21. So that’s certainly a big change, regardless of circumstance.
Many of us probably have worked for companies that have gone through changes in executives or ownership as well. Sometimes those things pass without any impact on the lowly worker bee. Sometimes they upend the entire system, or more. At the end of the day, you can only focus and really worry about the things you can control as part of your job. Everybody will handle it differently, react differently, and that’s fine. But the company’s not out of business, far from it, and the job needs doing still, and at the highest level possible.
“We should not say it has no effect. I think we should be careful of already giving an outlook on a general effect. We have 80 people in the building, 80 different life situations, 80 different characters. They will handle the situation differently.
“We have the chance in Cobham to give everybody the freedom to react to the situation how he wants, how it is good for him to speak about it, not speak about it, to be open or just go on. In the end, it still influences everybody in a positive way to focus on sport. [We] can allow ourselves to keep on going and do what we did over the last days, focus on sports. We are employees and are right now still very privileged.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
So say we all.