Chelsea may have kept their title hopes alive with a last-minute winner against Stoke City last evening, but its going to be anything but a peaceful week ahead for Chelsea. It seems that their billionaire owner is no longer interested in the club and is looking to sell it!
There has been no official statement indicating this of course, and Chelsea are quick to dismiss it for now as just another rumor. But is it really?
When the 42-year-old Russian billionaire bought the club back in 2003, he ushered in a golden era for the London club along with manager Jose Mourinho. The club won its first league title in 50 years in the '04/'05 season, and even defended it successfully the next season.
And when they brought in Ballack and Shevchenko next summer for record fees, it looked as if Chelsea were going to be simply unstoppable.
But that didn't happen. Internal changes, injuries, and losing key matches meant that they wouldn't win a title the next season, or the next either. And pouring in money like that, had its consequences. It was reported that the club wouldn't start making profit until late 2010.
Even though the club is still a title contender this season, and has advanced to the knock out stage in the Champions league, something is wrong. The club hasn't been performing as well as it should, there are reports of internal frictions, players like Drogba are terribly under-performing to an extent that he may even leave the club before this transfer window expires.
It's just not the Chelsea it used to be under Mourinho. And Abramovich is not happy.
So has Roman had enough? There is no doubt the current economic crisis has hit everyone hard, so how long can the once flamboyant Russian owner keep spending money without getting a profit or a major title?
Where are the buyers you ask? Well, look to the east, the middle-east that is. Reportedly, a billion-dollar deal is in the talks and Roman just wants out.
But Roman Abramovich is still, above all, a true soccer fan at heart. And whatever his critics may say, from his expressions when he attended any Chelsea game, he looks more like an enthusiastic fan than a nifty investor.
Recently, Chelsea have had internal problems, and maybe all is not well between Scolari and Abramovich, but it seems unbelievable that he will break his ties with his beloved team.
So could this be just another piece of fantasized, over-hyped, unreliable, little imagination of the media? Or is Abramovich really going to sell the club soon?
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