Roman’s Toy Story

This is the story at stems back to a boy who had it all. A man with a sense of boredom coalesced with deeper pockets than the earth’s core. Together these atoms blended together so powerfully, that the reaction deserves a place on the periodic table. If you haven’t already guessed whom I’m referring to, it’s Roman ArkadyevichAbramovic.

Yes, this is a story based on real events that all began in June 2003, where this man bought a football club, and this is where our story begins. Now this is not an Abramovic autobiography, more so it’s a quick look back on how the Russian has transformed Chelsea (for good and for bad).

Act I

The genesis of Roman’s ownership was quite the ambitious beginning. Back then Chelsea were on the cusp of being engulfed by financial difficulties and fears of administration.

[Enter stage right Roman Abramovic]

In swooped in the Russian superhero, for the lack of a better name let’s just call him ‘SuperRom’. Yes, so SuperRom saves the day and not only does he inject innumerable amounts of money into the club, but new dreams and ambitions that would put the club on the mantle with others, such as Real Madrid and Manchester United.

It was in his first season that Roman, call it love at first sight, was love-struck by the Champions League trophy. But of course Roman’s money can only do so much without a manager at the helm.

[Enter stage right Claudio Ranieri]

The Italian, Ranieri was already in place before the Russian billionaire came and marked his territory. Ranieri was given a large transfer fund but also found his job under threat. Despite this, Ranieri had a somewhat successful season, finishing runners-up and reaching the Semi-Final of the Champions League. However, the incumbent Italian was soon tossed aside like an unloved toy and replaced with an egotistical genius, ‘The Special One’

[Exit stage left Claudio Ranieri]

Act II

[Enter stage right Jose Mourinho]

Jose Mourinho moved to Chelsea in June 2004, becoming one of the highest paid managers in football with a salary of £4.2 million a year, subsequently raised in 2005 to £5.2 million; kudos to Abramovic. His move came off the back of a surprising Champions League win with his Porto side.

During his impressive reign, ‘The Special One’ won two consecutive titles and every other English competition available. The friction between Mourinho and Abramovic emanated from the owner throwing his weight around. It was him who prized Shevchenko to Chelsea, which Mourinho wasn’t quite fond of to begin with. Finally in 2007 Mourinho departed from Chelsea by “mutual consent”. He went on to manage Inter, won a load of trophies, including the Champions League and you know the rest.

For Abramovic the search for his beloved, the Champions League trophy grew.

[Exit stage left Jose Mourinho]


This is just a brief intermission to pay our respects to the fallen Chelsea managers 2007 – 2012:

  • Avram Grant
  • Luiz Felipe Scolari
  • Ray Wilkins
  • GuusHiddink
  • Carlo Ancelotti
  • Andre Villas-Boas


[Enter stage right Roberto Di Matteo]

Appendix A:

The stage is set: the champions league final in Munich. Advantage Bayern. Di Matteo’s job on the line and oh does he know it. Abramovic’s long awaited love at fingertips length. 

Drogba steps up to take the winning penalty that will finally unite and the Champions League trophy… Drogba scores and the wait is finally over. I now pronounce you man and wife. 

As Di Mattel heads up the stairs of the Munich stadium to the top of summit, where he has made Chelsea history. No other Chelsea manager has ever achieved such a feat and it only took him 6 months. As the Italian valiantly marches up the stairs he is intercepted by Romans smile. They meet in a fervent embrace, whereby Roberto mouths something for the whole world to hear, “I did it, I did it”.

Which brings us to the present. Roman has thrown his toy out the window and from the looks of it, the pile of old toys that have piled up during his time ownership of Chelsea is enough to put Toys’R’us out of business.

But can we really complain about the manner which Abramovic has treated Di Matteo? Yes Roberto achieved more than any previous Chelsea manager by winning the Champions League, though we all knew that this was just one-man temporary filling the hole. In fact winning the Champions League only extended the inevitable execution. Whether it was unfair or not, justified or not this is Roman’s Club.

This is Roman’s Toy Story.

[Exit stage left Roberto Di Matteo]

[Enter right Rafa Benitez]

To be continued.

Yvens Tiamou