5 Reasons Chelsea Fans Should Be Thankful for Roman Abramovich
Unless you have been living on Mars and have just started watching football, then you will be aware of Chelsea's turn of fortunes since 2003.
This is due mostly to one man, Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea have had their ups and downs in their 107-year history, battling against relegation on a couple of occasions.
But since the Russian billionaire's takeover of the club, Chelsea have become one of the biggest football clubs in Europe.
With billionaires you get money (billions of it), and this has helped Chelsea become a worldwide brand by bringing in the best players from all over the world.
Chelsea fans are now used to winning, which wasn't always the case, so fans who have followed the club for years are really enjoying the Roman Abramovich era.
There are still fans of certain clubs who haven't been successful for a while (not mentioning any names) that say Chelsea have no history, but under Roman Abramovich Chelsea are making their own history right now.
But what are the main reasons Blues fans should be thanking the Russian, and what has be brought to the club?
If you weren't aware, Roman Abramovich is a very rich man.
But so are a lot of football club owners. So what separates Abramovich from most of them?
It's the fact that he actually puts money into the club, he sees it at his club and he knows that to get to the top, he is going to need to invest.
Over the last nine years, Chelsea have been spoiled with top quality signings, and these don't come without hefty price tags.
Manchester City and Paris St-Germain are among the other big spending clubs, but Chelsea haven't been scared off and continue to compete in the transfer market with any club.
This is a testament to Abramovich's dedication to Chelsea and desire to make the club the best it can be. Let's hope he continues.
Let's put the whole Stamford Bridge/Battersea Station saga to one side for now and take a look at the developments that have been made to the facilities involved with Chelsea FC.
Since Abramovich's takeover, Chelsea have upgraded their training facilities, built a club museum and have all of the latest back room technology available to them.
Chelsea's training ground, Cobham, is where all first team and reserve team players train during the Premier League season, and the better the facilities, the better the training.
The Chelsea museum is for those fans who fancy a nostalgic trip down memory lane, or for anybody who wants to know more about their club.
It could also be used as a tool to attract fans visiting London to be drawn towards Chelsea if they can feel they have an idea of the club's history...yes we do have some.
This is obviously not exclusive to Chelsea, and most clubs in the top flight have state of the art facilities available to them but still, thanks, Roman.
Every club has die-hard fans in countries outside of their own, even lower league sides.
But only the biggest clubs seem to have the ability to reach the masses of football fans worldwide.
In recent years, the amount of Chelsea fans in countries such as China, Korea and the U.S. has increased dramatically—and this isn't by chance.
This has developed from a global marketing strategy including preseason tours, flagship Chelsea megastores around the world and lets be honest, being a successful club helps a lot.
With Chelsea's new habit of winning trophies and spending megabucks on players and facilities, it has enabled the Blues to endear themselves to fans around the world who are looking for a team to follow in the Premier League.
Roman Abramovich's funding and a team of PR and marketing experts have helped Chelsea grow in to more than a football club, but now a worldwide brand.
The rotating door on the Chelsea manager's office in recent years has become somewhat of a joke, and it can be frustrating to the fans of a club that is crying out for some stability.
But there may be one upside to this—the fact that the staff and players know that if you don't win, then you will get shown the door.
This mentality has been instilled into the players minds at Chelsea, and new players that join the club soon become aware of what is expected of them.
Chelsea is a club with ambition, which along with money, is a massive attraction to players looking for a move to the Premier League.
It's this mentality and ambition that has seen the Blues through some hairy moments in the last few seasons and kept them challenging for trophies on all fronts.
Chelsea have now it all. Every major trophy has spent time in the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet.
Before Abramovich came into to the Chelsea setup, the Blues had occasional success in domestic cup competitions but never really threatened in the league or in Europe.
This all changed in 2005—just over a year after Abramovich took over the club—when Chelsea tasted Premier League glory.
They then followed this up with a defence of their title, and were beginning to be considered as one of the big boys in English football.
After another Premier League title and a handful of FA and league cup victories, Chelsea managed to get their hands on Abramovich's holy grail, the Champions League trophy.
There is no doubting that Chelsea have gone from strength to strength under their billionaire owner, and I doubt there are many Chelsea fans who don't enjoy being a winning club.