Roman Abramovich announced on Wednesday that he was selling Chelsea FC after being in charge of the team for 19 years.
It marks an end to one of the most successful eras in the history of the Premier League as the Blues won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, the Champions League twice, and several other honors under his tenure.
But Abramovich’s era was also marked with the constant sacking of coaches with a total of 13 managers having worked for him in the period. So who were there coaches who led during the Russian era?
- Claudio Ranieri
The Italian who is currently jobless after his last work at Watford was the man in charge when Abramovich first arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2003. He was given a huge budget of more than £120million to spend on his targets but questions lingered at the type of players he bought and was to be sacked in the summer of 2004.
- Jose Mourinho
Described as the best manager under the Russian, Mourinho arrived at the Bridge after leading Porto to the Champions League title. Dubbing himself the ‘Special One’ on his first arrival, he helped the team to win the Premier League and EFL Cup in his first season at the helm.
They won the league title the following campaign and added another EFL Cup and the FA Cup to their collection in 2006-07. The Portuguese failure to win the Champions League saw him shown the door in September 2007.
He returned in the summer of 2013 for another two-and-a-half-year spell, adding a third Premier League title and EFL Cup to his Chelsea honors.
- Avram Grant
The Israeli was appointed Chelsea’s director of football in the summer of 2007 and was given the manager’s job until the end of the season after Mourinho’s departure. He managed to take the team to the final of the EFL Cup and Champions League and was sacked after a trophyless season that ended with that Champions League defeat to Manchester United in Moscow.
- Luiz Felipe Scolari
The Brazilian arrived at the club with a pedigree of winning the World Cup but his things didn’t go as planned and were sacked after just seven months in charge despite sitting fourth in the Premier League and remaining in contention for the Champions League.
- Guus Hiddink
Hiddink formed a close relationship with Abramovic and was always called upon to fill the gap when someone was sacked midway through the season. He replaced Scholari but could only accept the work on an interim basis due to his position as Russia’s manager.
In that short time, he won the FA Cup and guaranteed Champions League football with a third-place finish.
The Dutchman was asked to step into the hot seat again in December 2015 when Mourinho was sacked but led the club to a 10th place finish in the Premier League-their lowest position under Abramovich.
- Carlo Ancelotti
The Italian won the Community Shield, Premier League, and FA Cup in his first season at the Bridge but he failed to achieve the same feat in his second season and was dismissed for lack of silverware in 2010-11.
- Andre Villas-Boas
The Portuguese arrived at Chelsea when he was only 34 having been the European coach of the year following his exploits with Porto where he won four trophies – including the Europa League in 2010-11.
Dubbed the new Mourinho in the press, he failed to replicate his compatriot’s success in west London and was sacked just nine months into the job.
- Roberto Di Matteo
The Italian delivered Chelsea’s first Champions League title after being put in charge of the team following Villa Boas’s departure.
While he failed to improve the club’s league fortunes, he also won the FA Cup prompting Abramovic to hand him the job on a permanent basis but just like the other coaches, he was sacked after just six months.
- Rafa Benitez
The former Liverpool manager Benitez was given the job until the end of the season. The move was unpopular with fans but delivered success, as the Spaniard guided Chelsea to a third-place finish and the Europa League title.
That victory completed the set for the Blues, becoming one of a handful of clubs to win the Champions League, Europa League, Cup Winners Cup, and UEFA Super Cup. He was to make room for Mourinho’s return at the end of the season.
- Antonio Conte
Conte won the Premier League and reached the FA Cup final in his first season with Chelsea. Despite going on to win the FA Cup the following campaign, Conte’s side failed to finish in the top four and he was subsequently sacked.
- Maurizio Sarri
The Italian is the only manager of the Abramovich era to leave Chelsea for another club (Juventus). The Italian enjoyed a successful 12 months in charge of the Blues, winning the Europa League, finishing third in the Premier League, and reaching the EFL Cup final.
- Frank Lampard
The club’s legend was tasked with leading the team after helping Derby County to the Championship playoff.
Lampard guided them to a fourth-place finish in his first season and the FA Cup final. It was an impressive start considering the club was under a transfer embargo. The embargo was lifted ahead of his second term at the helm and they spent heavily, signing the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Ben Chilwell.
The signings failed to click and it cost Lampard his job as he was sacked in January 2021.
- Thomas Tuchel
The German could be the final manager of the Abramovich era. In 13 months, he has won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and Club World Cup becoming one of the Russian finest appointments. He’s also reached the FA Cup and EFL Cup finals.