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10 definitive moments of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea

The owner celebrates his ten-year anniversary at Chelsea today.

1. His arrival at the club

(Vismedia/Handout/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

His impact immediately after arriving in English football was almost unprecedented. The club spent heavily on players thanks to his millions, enabling them to promptly become a major force in European football.

2. His hiring of Jose Mourinho

(Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Despite Chelsea securing their then second highest Premier League finish ever under Claudio Ranieri (2nd), the Italian was sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho – a decision that would prove wise in hindsight, given the considerable success they enjoyed thereafter.

3. Chelsea winning their first Premier League title

Via gifbin

The ‘Special One’ upset the odds by helping Chelsea to win the Premier League in his first season in charge. He would win the league once more the following season.

4. His integral role in Chelsea’s signing of Shevchenko

Via Europa 12

Abramovich was widely believed to have played an major role in the club signing Andriy Shevchenko, reportedly against Mourinho’s wishes. It was the first sign of significant trouble between the two main men at the club.

5. His sacking of Mourinho

(John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

Despite all the success the club enjoyed with Mourinho at the helm, growing tensions between the coach and Abramovich led to the former’s sacking. Chelsea would consistently struggle to successfully replace him thereafter.

6. His hiring of Avram Grant

(Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

The hiring of Avram Grant – a close personal friend of Abramovich’s who was largely unknown in English football at the time – was another example of the owner’s willingness to make bold, highly controversial and largely unpopular decisions.

7. His u-turn on AVB

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Abramovich was strongly criticised for his treatment of Andre Villas-Boas, sacking the highly-rated manager less than a season after he was appointed as boss.

8. Winning the Champions League

(Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Some believe the previous controversial sackings were partially justified, given that Chelsea ultimately won the Champions League – the achievement that had always been the Russian billionaire’s primary target.

9. His unpopular hiring of Rafa Benitez

Via Talksport

His decision to hire the ex-Liverpool boss on a temporary basis invoked the wrath of the club’s supporters, who would never fully warm to the Spaniard as coach during his brief time at Stamford Bridge.

10. His decision to finally relent and offer Frank Lampard a new contract


YouTube credit: khanalkml

Had he got rid of one of the most legendary players in the club’s history, he might have alienated Chelsea fans for good. His belated decision to offer the veteran midfielder a new contract was wise from a PR perspective.

And the gif that best sums up Abramovich’s time in charge:

Via tumblr

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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