Chelsea leading the coach ‘sack race’

Chelsea have spent a whooping £69m on settlement after dismissals of coaches in the last eight years.

Chelsea may have not been able to match the successes of big European teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and the likes, but the London Club is clearly ahead in the game of firing and hiring coaches.

Only on Wednesday, Russian Billionaire, Roman Abrahamovic, again exhibited his insatiable taste; one which the UEFA Champions League trophy, Europe’s prized piece of silverware for clubs can not satisfy, with the announcement of the sack of Italian Coach, Roberto Di Matteo, the club’s 9th coach in a little over decade.

Chelsea have spent a whooping £69m on settlement after dismissals of coaches in the last eight years and would sure do more with the latest sacking.

Coaches hired and fired under Abrahamovic’s reign, starting at the turn of millennium, have come in different shapes and sizes.

The first of them is Claudio Ranieri (Italian) who indeed had the longest stay amongst the coaches from September 2000 – May 2004.

The Italian oversaw the development of future captain John Terry, and also brought Chelsea stalwarts including Petr Cech and Frank Lampard to the club.

Ranieri guided Chelsea to a second-place finish in the Premier League and to the semifinals of the Champions League in his final season in charge, but was still sacked.

Next online was the Special One or better still ‘The only one’ whose reign saw the Blues breaking new grounds on all fronts. Jose Mourinho (Portuguese) was in charge from June 2004 – September 2007, a period in which he won all major titles safe for the biggest of them all, the UEFA Champions League trophy.

The self styled Manager parted ways with his employees owing to complaints of high interference from the club owner, Abrahamovic.

Stepping into the big shoes of Mourinho was the Israeli, Avram Grant, who left his Technical Director role to coach the team for just 247 (from September 2007 – May 2008). Surprisingly the little known Israeli was able to guide Chelsea to the Champions League final in Moscow but saw them beaten on penalties by Manchester United and was not spared nonetheless as Abrahamovic promptly relieved him of his duties.

Brazilian Luis Felipe Scolari took over from Avan Grant from July 2008 – February 2009 and the FIFA World Cup winning coach failed to make a statement at the Stamford Bridge lasting just 223 days, the least duration of all the coaches.

Claims of sabotage by senior players in the Chelsea set -up was not enough to save his job and winning no silverware in his tenure.

Roman Abramovitch
Roman Abramovich

Then the Russian Billionaire turned to Dutch gaffer, Guus Hiddink, for Operation Rescue Chelsea who indeed did some magic during hid stay from February- May 2009.

He led Chelsea to victory over Everton in the FA Cup final and lost just one of his 22 games in charge but could not be persuaded to stay on.

Thereafter was Carlo Ancelotti who to an extent was given much time unlike his predecessors staying on from June 2009 – May 2011. The Italian, to an extent, was an instant hit at the Bridge and took the club to a league and FA Cup double in his first season.

However, Chelsea fell in the Champions League quarter-finals the following season and he was reportedly sacked in a stairwell at Goodison Park after a 1-0 loss at Everton.

So much more was expected when Villas-Boas arrived with a big reputation after guiding FC Porto to glory in the Portuguese Liga, Portuguese Cup and Europa League. At 33 when he took up the job, he pledged to revolutionise Chelsea’s approach but paid the price after Chelsea lost 3-1 at Napoli in the Champions League and fell off the pace in the league.

His assistant, Di Matteo, took over on an interim basis but guided the club to victory in the FA Cup before a penalty shootout success over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Given the job fulltime in June, his first full season began in fine style but the popular Italian was axed after a poor run of form left the champions on the brink of elimination in the Champions League. He was only in charge for 262 days.


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