Chelsea owner Abramovich defends “pragmatic” approach to sacking managers

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 6 min read
Chelsea owner Abramovich defends “pragmatic” approach to sacking managers

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has defended the club’s policy of hiring and firing managers on a regular basis as a “pragmatic” approach to running a football club. 

While most football clubs sack their manager when results dip below an unacceptable point, Chelsea seem to do it more than most. 

Indeed, since the billionaire bought the club for £140 million in 2003, Abramovich has overseen no less than 15 managerial appointments to his club’s first team in just 18 years. 

However, while that kind of constant upheaval may seem counterproductive to a club’s long-term stability, Chelsea have seemingly continued to go from strength to strength. 

Since Abramovich started signing the cheques at Stamford Bridge, the club have won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and one Champions League trophy. 

As such, the Chelsea owner stands by his decision to cut short a managerial tenure if he doesn’t feel as though it is taking the club in the right direction. 

In a rare interview with Forbes, the Russian owner said Chelsea’s culture is “definitely focused on performance, it is at the same time supportive, inclusive and diverse. 

“Both elements are critical to our success and one does not work without the other.”

“I think we are pragmatic in our choices,” he added. “And we are comfortable making the right changes at the right time to ensure we can achieve our long-term ambitions. 

“I hope it also says something about the clarity of the long-term ambition of the club. Those who join understand the objectives both on the pitch, as well as the wider positive role the club plays in the community.”

How many managers have Chelsea had under Abramovich?

There’s no doubt that Chelsea have worked their way through a large chunk of the managers in today’s modern game, with some enjoying world-wide appeal and others proving to be less obvious. 

As previously mentioned, Abramovich has made 15 different managerial appointments, but some of those hires were made with coaches that had previously worked under the Russian owner at Stamford Bridge. 

If we were to ignore interim and caretaker coaches, the number of managers that have worked at Chelsea since 2003 currently stands at 13. Here’s a full list of them. 

ManagerPeriod in charge
Claudio RanieriSeptember 2000 - May 2004
Jose MourinhoJune 2004 - September 2007
Avram GrantSeptember 2007 - May 2008
Felipe ScolariJune 2008 - February 2009
Carlo AncelottiJune 2009 - May 2011
Andre Villas-BoasJune 2011 - March 2012
Roberto Di MatteoMarch 2012 - November 2012
Rafael BenitezNovember 2012 - May 2013
Jose MourinhoJune 2013 - December 2015
Guus HiddinkDecember 2015 - July 2016
Antonio ConteJuly 2016 - July 2018
Maurizio SarriJuly 2018 - June 2019
Frank LampardJuly 2019 - January 2021
Thomas TuchelJanuary 2021 - Present