IT was a week highlighted by managerial casualties and at the forefront of this managerial merry go round was Chelsea FC, now owned by the Todd Boehly Circus Troupe who decided to part ways with Graham Potter just seven months into his reign.
The ink had barely dried on Potter’s dismissal when Todd Boehly pulled off another incredible Boehly Wilkie circus act by enlisting homeboy Frank Lampard to return again for another stint at the club he so badly managed just two years ago!
We are in the final stretch of a season where Chelsea are effective bystanders as they currently sit in eleventh place in the EPL table and barring a total seizure, cannot do worse than eleventh!
Frankie’s short managerial record has also proven that he does not have the tactical nous to outsmart Real Madrid in their forthcoming Champions League quarter final tie where most observers expect Chelsea to be mere spectators!
Surely even if all concerned parties(and here I include the fans,)felt that Potter was not the right man to take Chelsea forward, what exactly do Chelsea gain by giving him the sack at this particular juncture and hiring Frankie Lampard in a caretaker role.
Let’s then surmise the highly improbable situation where Frankie does miraculously succeed in the Champions League this season or goes on an unbeaten league run right until the end of the season.
Surely Chelsea would not then offer Frankie the permanent role or could they?
Remarkably in the crazy circus environs of Chelsea FC, anything is possible!
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Unfortunately it’s proof if it were needed that Chelsea have indeed under the Boehly Circus gone potty and I’m sure that it won’t be long before Lampard’s reign is curtailed, and Frankie is exiled and sent to Hollywood!
The Boehly led consortium bought the club for a mammoth GBP 4,25 billion and he does demand massive respect however for a fascinating track record which includes a current stake of the mega basketball brand,the LA Lakers.
Personally, however, I felt more than a tinge of sympathy for Roman Abramovich who was shoved out of the club without any cognizance of his immense contribution to Chelsea FC.
It’s necessary to point out that he and he alone bankrolled and supported Chelsea into becoming the high flying glamorous sought out London club they have now become.
Meanwhile, their new owner who has no previous football or EPL background wants to be involved in all decisions pertaining to the club and has sadly been found wanting.
Even Chelsea diehards while pleased that the new ownership has come to the party in terms of the financial outlay for the club itself and then a further whopping GBP 600 million on transfers already, are nevertheless puzzled, irritated and in some cases angered by decisions being made at the club.
After all why sack Thomas Tuchel who brought you Champions League glory in the first place simply because as a manager he was not a “yes” man and he had other ideas on recruits for the club.
Boehly then compounded matters by bringing in a manager who had never been in charge of a big club, let alone one filled with superstars.
Mind you, once Potter was entrenched as Chelsea boss, what really did we expect from Potter in an environment where his own players were never going to respect him or give him the time of day.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes,he had Boehly barking down orders and player preferences.
The sad truth for Potter was that as long as Boehly was the circus master,Potter was on a hiding to nothing.
I suspect that he’s feeling a measure of relief now that the circus gate has been left ajar and he has been able to escape.
If Potter was an old albeit inexperienced cat trying to decipher the Chelsea corridors, then young guns Luis Enrique or Julian Nagelsmann both of whom are being touted as future Chelsea bosses, are rather more pedigreed cats who won’t be as willing to take random unsubstantiated orders, even if it’s from their master who is feeding them.
Chelsea fans and I suspect the majority of fans of all clubs would rather their owners remain in the background and let properly appointed football staff do the job they have been paid to do.
I somehow don’t know whether the rather eccentric Boehly is willing however to lose centre stage.
He strikes me as someone who believes that his money automatically grants him the permanent right to lead, order and act.
Roman Abramovich on the other hand understood when to yield to his football technicians while always remaining willing and supportive and especially on match days, by being an active participating supporter.
Of course with the forced sale of the club what we have left of Abramovich is his legacy and what a legacy it is!
Prior to Roman Abramovich injecting both his funding as well as his visible passion into Chelsea, they were an above average London club with a modest following emanating from the fashionable west end suburbs of London.
Current Chelsea fans around the globe would be hard pressed to name too many players before that era other than a couple of remarkable Italians (Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli) an outstanding Dutchman (Ruud Gullit) and an over-achieving Frenchman (Frank Leboeuf) chose to close their careers in the trendy cool locale of west end London.
This was not a side accustomed to regular trophy success or title challenges although there was definitely an upward trend that had started with the arrival of player/manager Ruud Gullit in 1996. And then Roman came, saw and conquered and in the process, changed the entire way Chelsea not only started to view themselves but also how Chelsea started to be viewed from outside.
He was passionate about the club and demanded football success even at the expense of his investment.
It’s worth noting that Roman’s Chelsea only started to make a profit towards the end of his time at Chelsea.
In fact for the first nine years of his ownership, Chelsea incurred hefty losses.
As the team started to become more successful and as the Jose Mourinho juggernaut began to take effect, Chelsea was increasingly starting to be viewed as one of the leading football brands in the world.Roman Abramovich obliterated any preconceived notions about Chelsea FC as they started forging winning ultra-competitive sides while accumulating trophies along the way.
Stand out supremo signature coach Jose Mourinho’s arrival in 2003 also opened the floodgates to a stream of African superstars who made the Chelsea Village their home.
These notably included Didier Drogba and Michael Essien amongst others as Chelsea during this period become extremely popular not just in Africa but all around the globe.
Success followed success as Chelsea followed up a Champions League runners up place in 2008 with an unexpected but magical first Champions League success in 2012.
The second Champions League success in 2021 cemented the club’s position as a recognized football heavyweight.
Following on from that, it ought to have been more of the same but then we had the circus in which Mr Chelsea (Roman Abramovich) the man who ultimately gave Chelsea it’s worldwide football presence,was banished and exiled from his beloved club.
And now we have too, the Todd Boehly circus in all it’s glory!
Dearest Chelsea fans, you didn’t deserve this circus and for all of football’s sake, I pray that Todd Boehly takes a chill pill, uses his money at Chelsea wisely and smartly allows the right people to steer Chelsea up back where they belong.
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