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Sleeping Dave

Time For A Change Of Ownership?

  

299 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see Mr Abramovich replaced as the owner of Chelsea Football Club?

    • No
      203
    • Undecided
      25
    • Yes
      47


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This will be a very unpopular post I feel, and I think that many will take great offense in what I’m about to say. However, I will try and keep my absolute dismay at Roman's actions out of it, and focus solely on trying to look at things from an objective point of view.

In order for our club to progress, I see no other option than for Roman to sell to another owner. There. I said it. The unthinkable. Have I gone mad I hear you ask? No, not at all. Let me explain.

Roman has invested a truckload of money in Chelsea FC. Some of it has been for a good cause. For example by “clearing” the previous owners’ debt, making sure the Chelsea Village wasn't made to be such a disaster. We built a new state-of-the-art training ground. Great. We sure needed an upgrade on Harlington! But a lot of the money has also gone on nothing. Wasted player purchases. Very, very expensive players who played with us for a season or two but were too old, or too crap, to be sold on to other teams for spare change at best. Those early years saw us waste so much money on nothing. Players, established world class players, going out on loan with us subsidise wages in order to get rid of them. We’ve also wasted a truckload of money on hiring and firing managers. Ranieri, Mourinho, Grant, Scolari, Hiddink, Ancelotti, Villas-Boas, Di Matteo and now a 9th manager in 10 seasons. Five of those managers had to be paid off when they were fired. Another one we paid £16m to get from Porto, only to sack him 8 months into his reign and paying out another truck load of money in compensation. Those early years have really haunted us, and although we were extremely cautious regarding transfers from 2006/07-2009/10 (spending £100m in four seasons) we still made monster losses. The players we did purchase in those four seasons, only four can be said to have been good purchases; Ivanovic, Anelka, Malouda and Cole. That’s four players that made a contribution towards the first team – in four full seasons! When we started spending again we went crazy, spending £100m within six months buying Ramires, Benayoun, Luiz and Torres. Only Ramires can at this stage have been said to be worth the money.

Last season we spent £52m on Lukaku, Meireles, Romeu, Courtois, Davila, Bamford and De Bruyne. None of those players are currently making a contribution to us. When we finally decide to invest with a bit of a brain process involved we give our manager a squad of 16 viable players and sack him after three months. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. It’s like watching Homer Simpson continuously putting his finger in a socket.

Now he has fired Di Matteo, a manager who won him “the holy grail” six months ago. The outrage is everywhere. Some say “it’s Romans money, he can do as he pleases”. I apologise if this will offend someone but this smacks of the mentality of either a glory hunter or an American who thinks football is like their franchises across the pond. It’s not.

The only money Roman could really make a claim for is the after tax profit the club generates (as he is the sole owner). Sure, he could also sell off all the assets of the club but that would truly be bad business for him. His last alternative is to sell it to someone else.

Everything else belongs to the club and is generated by the club. That Roman has run the club in such a poor manner that he's been forced to cover for all the losses over the last 10 years, after we consider he is the sole person making all the key decisions at the club, well – must surely be blamed on the man himself? If Roman is too casual to be able to run a club that generates profits that's his fault. No one forced him to buy the club. He brought that upon himself. No one forced him to make bad call after bad call. No one forced him to toss away hundreds of millions pounds on horrible player signings and god knows how much in wages. If he had been prudent, understood football and made the right signings he wouldn't have to cover for the losses he himself is responsible for. When fans say we should be grateful for all Roman has done they are right in one sense. He saved us from a Leeds like scenario. But should we really be grateful that Roman has enough money to make up for his own stupidity and lack of business sense?

We were one of the clubs who generated most money in world football pre-Roman. Roman had nothing to do with that. What was about to do us in was our debt. Bates et al lost control of that in their ludicrous quest of building “a world class stadium”. What RA did have control over though was hiring and firing managers more often than some people get laid. He made the decision to buy far too many overvalued players. He made the decisions to throw around wages that were vastly over the actual market value. So yeah, he has suffered for his own stupidity. Or should I say his wallet has suffered?

Too many of the sackings have been done in a classless and brutal way. Ranieri. Ancelotti and now Robbie. The football board, who have made an insane number of silly, and costly (!), mistakes over the last decade are immune to criticism. Who decides on the managers we hire? What background check has been done? What thought-process and strategy lies behind our managerial hiring? Does anyone know? Does Roman know? Far too many key decisions are made on a whim. Ancelotti fired in the corridor at Goodison. Robbie getting fired while being in third place four points off the top, six months after he won the ultimate prize in club football. With a squad not even a magician could win the league with. What is he supposed to do when he isn't given the tools by the board?

Am I the only one who thinks it's slightly odd that we're getting worse and worse for every passing season? 2 (79) – 1 (95) – 1 (91) – 2 (83) – 2 (85) – 3 (83) – 1 (86) – 2 (71) – 6 (64). Those are our league positions and points totals over the last nine seasons. The trend is downward. We’ve spent more money than anyone else in the history of the Premier League – including Man City and one does well to remember that the money we spent in 2003-2006 would be, pound for pound, a lot more than the same absolute number of pounds in 2009-2012. For those who do not understand the effects of TMV and inflation, that means that the absolute amount of pounds we’ve spent more than City in reality is even bigger. Contrast that to Man U, who have spent roughly 60% of what we have spent but have a lot more titles to show for it. There’s no getting around it, considering the amount of money Roman has spent we have underachieved massively*. Why?

We lack a clear idea of how to run this club, we make key decisions on a whim and what’s even worse, our dear Chairman Bruce Buck, who openly shows his dismay and dislike towards us fans (CPO in 2011 is a great example) is out in national media defending their policy due to the “success”. Nothing is sustainable, nothing is properly planned. No one knows how to run a football club and none of the leading figures at the club is a football man. The closest we have is Emenalo, a former coach for 12 year old girls and a scout in some obscure place on the footballing map. The four who call the shots, Abramovich, Buck, Tenenbaum and Gourlay has the combined football knowledge of a 15 year old scholar at one of the top clubs around the country. Buck, the self-proclaimed Chelsea fan who bleeds blue, is a yank lawyer who went to some games in the 80’s. Great, we all feel a lot safer going to bed at night.

I feel we need a change of direction, a purpose and above all, a viable and sustainable strategy. To make some bold calls and building a new team to reap the rewards in a few years time. Look at some of the young exciting teams popping up around Europe. Shaktar. Ajax. Borussia Dorrtmund. Juventus. B Munich. They all play an exciting brand of football, adopting a high pressing game a la Barcelona with young and cheap players. For too long we have done the exact opposite and when we finally do make a change to our flawed transfer strategy we give our manager three months into the new season before firing him. We didn't even have the courtesy of giving him a full squad. Seriously, something is seriously wrong here.

In order for us to evolve I feel it’s time for new ownership. Owners who;

1) understand football

2) understand business

3) can take us forward

Over the last five seasons it's been crystal clear and beyond any doubt that man is not Roman Abramovich.

So who should these new owners be? I don’t know. But in a perfect world they would be a consortium, a big group with several leading figures. Those figures should not be involved in football decisions. They should not pick the transfer targets, nor should they “scout” their own managers. They should appoint a board of directors with genuine knowledge about football, perhaps even a football director a la Hiddink or something similar. Then, for the love of God, give the job to a manager who will have a chance of building his own squad, without interference from the owners or other parties who don't seem to know what they're about. Let the manager build a squad that fits his way of playing, and make damn sure that the way the manager likes to play fits in with the clubs long-term strategy. And whatever you do, give the man time to build and succeed.

Now, we are back on square one again. Whoever we hire now will be another stop-gap, another year is wasted – a year we could have used better to make the team gel after a long-term strategy and style of play. We bring in Benitez the squad is going to play defensive football focused on counter attacking. Then come the summer I’m sure we’ll move for Pep. He will be a new hire and again, the new players will be picked by the football board. Pep will start ok, but the inevitable slump will happen and once it does he’ll be out the door as well – with another £20m compensation package leaving the club's coffers. And so it will continue, until either Roman dies or until he gets tired and sells.

He’s owned the club for 8.5 years and he hasn’t learnt a damn thing. Mistakes he made in 2006 are still being made. Had one of Roman's managers made such mistakes he’s done for almost a decade now they’d have been shipped to Siberia, taken to the back of a shoddy shed and put down. Where does it end? He fired the best manager around, and if he wasn’t good enough then who is?

No doubt some members on here will say I overreact. That’s fine. I can take that criticism. Some will say I’m ungrateful – so be it. Others will say I’m mad and don’t have a clue. Fine, you’re entitled to your opinion. But I’d be most interested in hearing any reasons to WHY Roman must stay. What exactly, is he doing well? My point is that his short-termism has completely ruined the most talented football squad this club has ever seen. By chopping and changing managers we have never enjoyed any stability, not been able to plan for youth to come through and the lack of strategy has made us a worse club.

For me this is the highest priority we as a club should deal with. Cause he, and the other cretins he brought with him, are slowly killing us. Something has to give before it’s too late. My vote goes for Roman out!

*For anyone who is interested in reading more on this there is an excellent book called “Pay as you play”. It explains why a £10m signing in 2001 would be a hell of a lot more in today’s value, due to inflation within the game of football.

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Completely and utterly disagree, and I sincerely doubt the accuracy and veracity of a lot of your rationale. But it's how you feel, and I've not the strength or inclination to try and convince you otherwise.

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Completely and utterly disagree, and I sincerely doubt the accuracy and veracity of a lot of your rationale. But it's how you feel, and I've not the strength or inclination to try and convince you otherwise.

Hello TVF,

Did you mean to say that you doubt the veracity of Dave's rationale or is this a typo? Must be I guess.

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And there it is. Fat Rafa confirmed new interim manager.

Someone please tell the authorities there's a crazy mad Russian who's lost the plot running around on Cavendish Square.

The authorities really need to step in now for everyone's well being and safety. The man is a lose cannon. Anything can happen now!

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Completely and utterly disagree, and I sincerely doubt the accuracy and veracity of a lot of your rationale. But it's how you feel, and I've not the strength or inclination to try and convince you otherwise.

Ok, that's fair enough.

From you reply, I must then conclude that you are happy with the clubs long-term strategy, our implementation of that said strategy over the last nine seasons, our impeccable planning and our great decision-making when it comes to hiring new managers. I must also conclude that you disagree with my notion that Roman and his entourage knows nothing about football, and that they in fact are very suitable owners and key decisions-makers for one of the worlds top clubs.

I look forward to the great future ahead and can go to sleep tonight rest assured that the past 9 seasons was a freak of nature and accidental. I'm sure the next manager will be here to stay.

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The poll and the title of the thread conflict guys, be careful.

But Abrhamovic HAS to stay. We are the Romans army! We would not have won all we have without him. Abrhamovic isn't the problem. Its the advisors in Bruce Buck and Gourlay that need to go.

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