One of the reported reasons for why Todd Boehly & Co were chosen as the winning bidders for Chelsea last year, other than the massive stacks of cash of course, was their supposed willingness and intention to carry on and build upon Roman Abramovich’s sporting legacy.
In every way but one, they’ve certainly done that so far. We’ve spent more money than we’ve ever spent, we’ve hired and fired more people on a whim than ever before — hard to believe, but Abramovich never sacked two managers in one season — we’ve gotten UEFA to change their rules in record time, and we’ve firmly re-established our credentials as the enemies of football. The only thing, and sadly a rather crucial thing that’s missing is the winning part, but hopefully we’ll get there soon enough, too.
At least that’s the hope, despite our ad-hoc decision-making habits.
Case in point, the decision to sack Graham Potter, which apparently arrived on Saturday night, after media briefings and presser-invites had gone out and well before any sort of replacement had been identified. Instead, we’re left with the awkward situation of Potter’s own assistants taking charge and Bruno Saltor named Interim Head Coach. We’ve had similar cases with Roberto Di Matteo and Avram Grant — internal interim appointments, but neither owed any real loyalty to the dearly departed, André Villas-Boas (2012) and José Mourinho (2007), respectively.
This aged well... but again, this morning that was absolutely the club's plan. Things change very fast. Potter expected to have the Liverpool game, and club even sent out his pre-match presser invite. But by early afternoon #CFC board moved fast. https://t.co/nbYKxhs4QY— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) April 2, 2023
That’s not to say that there’s any doubt that Bruno and Bjorn (but not Barry) will do their best, and I suppose there’s a chance they get the job long-term (assuming they’d even be interested). Grant and RDM both received and signed full-time offers in fact, even if neither would see out a full year in total. But generally speaking, Chelsea always had a replacement pretty much ready to go.
However, right now that process is only just starting. We have a few names in mind, and are apparently looking to conduct an exhaustive search and interview at least four-five candidates. We appear to be in no rush, though the Times report that, actually, on the contrary, “ideally” we’d want to have a new man in charge for the Champions League quarterfinals against Real Madrid in two weeks. That may be a bit optimistic.
The names mentioned so far are the expected — Julian Nagelsmann, Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique — though the Telegraph add Luciano Spaletti, currently with runaway Serie A leaders Napoli as someone with whom we’ll seek talks. Yeah, he’s certainly not coming in the next two weeks, lads!
With our cadre of directors, owners, and various other powers that be, surely we’ll make a better decision this time around? Can’t afford another six-month disaster!