Chelsea owners ditch long-standing Abramovich rule on next move

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Chelsea have reportedly given their full backing to Graham Potter to turn things around and will not sack him if the club fail to finish inside the top four – a move away from the acrimonious tradition from Roman Abramovich’s reign. Finishing inside the Champions League spots was the bare-minimum requirement for managers during Abramovich’s reign.

Chelsea only finished outside the top four twice during Abramovich’s reign – in 2012 and 2018. Roberto Di Matteo avoided the chop, largely due to his historic Champions League win that season and the FA Cup victory.

He was appointed the permanent manager soon after the European triumph, but he was sacked just a few months later as they failed to get out of the group stages. Antonio Conte was the only other Chelsea manager who failed to finish inside the top four in 2018 and he was ultimately sacked despite winning the league the previous season.

Most managers haven’t even lasted until the end of a season with the likes of Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas and Frank Lampard all being given the chop with fears the club would miss out on a top-four finish. Mourinho, Conte and Carlo Ancelotti were the only three managers out of the 15 appointments made by Abramovich to ever manage more than 100 matches for Chelsea.

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After Boehly took charge of the club’s operations, he showed his own ruthlessness by sacking Tuchel just days after giving the German coach around £250million-worth of new signings in the summer transfer window. Potter was brought in as his replacement, but the Englishman has had a hard time ever since.

They’ve won just one of their last eight league matches and are currently languishing 10th in the table. Chelsea are now as close to the relegation zone as they are the top four with 10 points difference to both sides of the table.

But the Daily Mail claim Chelsea’s board have no desire to part ways with Potter in the near future as they ‘consider themselves collectively responsible’ for the club’s current position. Boehly, Behdad Egbahali and Jose Feliciano are all reportedly in agreement that Potter’s job is safe, even if they fail to finish inside the top four.

The Chelsea board supposedly want to ‘drive long-term cultural change’ at Stamford Bridge and they’re willing to accept a mini setback in their overall goals. It’s a move away from the brutal – and often surprising – nature of Abramovich’s reign at the helm of Chelsea.

Their transfer policy is now clear in targeting young talent with Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos the latest new signings at the club. Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly and Thiago Silva are now the only defenders aged over 26 years old at Chelsea.

They’re still looking to bolster their options in midfield and attack and Chelsea are set to follow a similar tactic in who they target in the window. Potter’s job appears to be safe in the meanwhile, giving him an opportunity to build on the foundations already at the club.

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