League managers attack Abramovich
Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00  Editor  Sport  –  Abroad

CHELSEA’S billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, has come under attack from the head of the League Managers’ Association (LMA) for his record of sacking managers and demand for instant success.

The Stamford Bridge club has had eight managers in nine years since the Russian billionaire took over at Chelsea, with Andre Villas-Boas sacked after just eight months.

The club was labelled a “serious embarrassment” by the LMA after the Portuguese’s sack and now LMA Chairman, Howard Wilkinson, has turned his fire on Abramovich himself. Wilkinson told goal.com: “Clearly, it seems to me that Roman Abramovich is not aware of the difference between having a successful team and building a successful club.

“The evidence shows that the successful clubs are ones that have been constructed in a planned, long-term and strategic way and have a vision of where they want to go and know how they want to get there.

“What happens is that the product of that is they continue to produce successful teams. The lesson is that if you want to be winning things then history shows that is the way that you have got to go.

“To see that you just have to look at two clubs at the moment – Manchester United, who have been the most successful club in England over the last 15 years, and Barcelona, who have also enjoyed sustained success.”

Wilkinson suggested that Jose Mourinho’s departure in 2007 might have been because Chelsea was not looking long-term. He said: “Certainly, managers who have the capacity to look long-term such as Alex Ferguson and Pep Guardiola and also Arsene Wenger also have an enormous amount to contribute to the development of a successful club.

“I don’t know Jose Mourinho inside-out but from the outside looking in, it would seem that he had that capacity but clearly that wasn’t part of the deal at Chelsea and that is why he left.”

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