Chelsea's Carlo Ancelotti and Roman Abramovich Relationship Fraying
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There have been some serious things going on behind the scenes at Chelsea.
The most high profile one being the decision by the board to sack Ray Wilkins without consulting Ancelotti beforehand.
When asked about it, most observers would have said that he appeared unhappy with the decision and distanced himself from Wilkins' replacement—a man so memorable that I don't even know his name!
But now that the form on the pitch has fallen away so badly and the pressure on Ancelotti is building, the manager has begun to play the cards he was dealt by the board and, in particular, Roman Abramovich.
In the early part of the season, the message was simple: Ancelotti was happy with his squad. He may have been towing the club's standard line after the cull of the high earners in the summer, but now it seems to be different.
The players brought in most recently have failed to live up to their price tags, but it is the plain fact that the Chelsea of today are not going to spend like the Chelsea of old.
There are quite a few reports in the media today that talk about the manager making it clear to the chairman and owner that they need more players. That is construed by many as a bold decision, as in private it was decided that very little investment would be available for this January transfer window.
Will Chelsea spend in January?
The pressure of results has, understandably, led to fans shouting for more money to be made available for players (with Manchester City apparently given free reign in the market, frustrations are boiling over at many other clubs). But Roman Abramovich is not a man who is easily turned from his original plans, and it might be that he will change his manager before he changes his mind.
Ancelotti is well aware that calling for more investment in the first team squad now is a risky strategy, as it could be construed as the final act of a desperate man, but he needed to make the point in public that he wants more players.
What happens now will tell us all about the future—not only of Ancelotti, but of the club itself.
If Abramovich refuses his manager's call for investment, it may well just presage a change in Chelsea's position within football.
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