Date published: Thursday 3rd March 2022 9:43 – Editor F365
Some of the fawning at the feet of Roman Abramovich really is quite something. What a guy…
Is this the most BBC/Phil McNulty headline ever?
‘Why Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell Chelsea was both a shock and not a shock’
On Tuesday, Mediawatch covered Martin Samuel’s paean to Roman Abramovich in which he basically said ‘thanks’ for breaking up the duopoly of Manchester United and Arsenal. Well done, Roman.
While there is obviously some truth to this, we did note that Liverpool had finished second literally the year before Abramovich arrived so it was a funny kind of duopoly when the Merseyside club had won four trophies in three years.
Now Martin Lipton of The Sun wants to re-write that history again:
‘The Russian only had to break up a duopoly, a Premier League dominated by Manchester United and Arsenal, led by Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
‘He did that and more, firstly making it a Big Three and then supplanting those two giants.’
Supplanted, you say? At which point did this take place with Manchester United? The Blues did win two Premier League titles in a row under Jose Mourinho but Manchester United then won four of the next five titles between 2006 and 2011. Since then, Manchester City have won five of 10 championships.
So since Abramovich arrived in 2003 to save English football from a duopoly, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have all won five titles and the Blues have only once managed back-to-back title wins. That’s not even close to domination.
Indeed, in 18 full seasons since Abramovich took over Chelsea, they have only finished above Manchester United eight times. Supplanted, my arse.
Cry me a river
Martin Samuel’s colleague Ian Herbert sounds positively tearful in his piece about the possible exit of Roman Abramovich in the Daily Mail:
‘He is an individual from whom we have heard next to nothing across the course of 19 unforgettable years at Chelsea – so the statement, when it came, was extra-ordinary. Brief yet entirely authentic in the emotion it was attempting to convey.
”Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me,’ was the emotional core of Roman Abramovich’s 277 words.
‘We do not know what this man’s English sounds like, because his grasp of the language is less confident than many imagine. But the regret and private agonies spoke through those lines.’
Authentic. Emotional. Regret. Private agonies.
Those are quite the words to describe a statement by a man forced into selling Chelsea by the prospect of Government sanctions threatening his fortune.
Mega lols, by the way, for Herbert writing this paragraph:
‘His wish to be remembered and celebrated for what he tells fans are ‘our joint achievements’ will be helped by his declaration that all net proceeds of the club’s sale – £2billion, give or take – will go to a foundation ‘for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine’.’
Somebody did not look up ‘net proceeds’. Presumably because they were too busy being moved by the ‘authentic’ statement.
Give me oil in my Lamp…
The Sun‘s report from Luton starts in quite curious fashion:
‘THE last time Chelsea beat Luton in the FA Cup. Frank Lampard was sacked two days later.
‘So it is probably a blessing in disguise for Thomas Tuchel that Roman Abramovich is otherwise occupied right now.’
It’s probably also a blessing that he has won the Champions League, Super Cup and World Club Cup with Chelsea and does not currently sit in ninth place after winning only one of his last five Premier League matches.
Let it go, fellas.
Over in the Daily Mirror, Arsenal fan John Cross writes of Roman Abramovich:
‘Since taking over in 2003, he has ploughed hundreds of millions into the club and his lavish spending raised the bar and few other clubs have managed to keep up. The fans have lived the dream, enjoyed the glory and celebrations.
‘But, deep in the back of the minds of Chelsea fans, was a lingering fear that this day will come. The unthinkable day, the day in which the Abramovich era would come tumbling down and the club would go back to what it was before.’
You know why it’s ‘unthinkable’? Because it’s nonsense. If somebody pays the Chelsea asking price of around £3bn, they are very, very rich people indeed. They’re not going to allow Chelsea to fester and fall into disrepair for sh*ts and giggles. That ship has long since sailed.
We know it’s World Book Day but there’s a limit to the amount of fiction we can stomach.
Obviously there is mileage in Roman Abramovich headlines and the Express website has a doozy:
‘Roman Abramovich brushed Chelsea star aside ‘Don’t want to see your face”
Ignoring the complete lack of punctuation, this really is quite the opportunistic click-grab.
‘OUTGOING Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich couldn’t bear to look at former Blues defender David Luiz, the Brazilian said in a throwback interview.’
‘Throw-back interview’ is one cheeky-arsed way to say that this is very old news. So old in fact that Luiz was talking about something that happened in 2012 – a whole decade ago.
And let’s hear that story of Abramovich’s apparent snub in full:
‘Luiz, who was 25 at the time, recalled Abramovich gave him the cold shoulder beforehand.
‘He said: “Roman Abramovich spoke to me on the day of the game and asked, ‘How is your leg?’
‘”I told him, ‘It does not matter, I play with my head and my heart’.
‘”He said, ‘Go away, I don’t want to see your face, I am so nervous!’ I said to him, ‘Don’t worry, we will win’.’
So he gave him the ‘cold shoulder’ by asking him how he was and then jokingly saying that he was too nervous to look at him?
Ten years ago.
Forget all the talk of being complicit in war crimes, that really does mark him out as an absolute [redacted].