Roman Abramovich is a name that sends a feeling of hate and fear down the heart of some coaches in global football. The Russian is known for his ‘hire and replace’ approach to football management – a man who favours results over history. But history shows that he deserves more credit than he’s getting.
Roman has run Chelsea for well over a decade. Before his takeover, Chelsea had never managed an EPL title. Since he took over, Chelsea has become a force to reckon with not just in English football, but in the whole of Europe.
The ‘hire and replace’ approach he adopted to get the club to its present position has been criticised by some, but the truth is it has worked, and the turn of events in other European and English clubs in recent times show Roman has never been wrong.
A club like Arsenal, who have stuck to the old way of football management have suffered for it. Between 2004 and now, the Gunners have failed to win a major silverware, winning only 4 FA Cup titles, while Chelsea have managed a Champions league, 5 League titles, a Europa league title, and more.
Manchester United is another club who favored ‘stability’ over productivity, however, we have seen that change in the past few years. In 4 years, they have had 3 managers, while trying to get their hands on some silverware.
Manchester City have had to adopt a similar strategy, and it is working for them. Manuel Pellegrini won the league title once, but was fired after he failed to repeat the feat in 2 more attempts.
PSG, Real Madrid, Barcelona are more examples of traditional clubs that have followed the Roman style of management in recent years.
Before Roman introduced the ‘hire and replace’ style of management, coaches could stay for as long as they wanted, and still not produce trophies in the end. It enabled mediocrity and laziness on the job. What Roman did was change it, and keep them on their toes.
If I hire you to run my business, I expect returns that measure up to my investment. Football clubs spend so much money buying players and hiring coaches, and fans spend so much to see matches; I think it is only fair that they get their reward.
People who speak against Roman’s style argue that it doesn’t allow for stability, but should that come ahead of results? The job of management is to deliver no matter what, so if you have to replace as you go to get it done, it doesn’t matter.
Chelsea is by far the most successful club in English football since 2004. If Roman hasn’t been as tough and rigid as he is, we wouldn’t be here. The man is a revolutionist, a gift to football, and he deserves to be appreciated for his immense input on the management of the sport. Chelsea is not the most successful in English football, but with an owner like Roman, we won’t be far off United and Liverpool for long.