Chelsea: Analysing the 15 years of the Abramovich Era

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(Photo credit: John Dobson)

Since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea from Ken Bates for £140 million back in 2003 over £1 billion has been funnelled into the club. 

Whilst much of Stamford Bridge remains intact since the Russian's takeover, on the field much has changed. 

As much as this current summer has been rather lacklustre for Blues fans, with Brendan Rodgers to Joachim Lowe linked to the seemingly vacant Chelsea job, the Blues faithful will always be thankful for the investment Roman has put into the West London Outfit. 


Best manager?

During the 15-year period that Abramovich has been at the club, Chelsea have seen ten managers come and go at Stamford Bridge: Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benitez, Jose Mourinho again, Guus Hiddink again and Antonio Conte. 

Reuters/Andrew Boyers

While he now has the reigns of Chelsea's bitter rivals Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has had the longest time at the helm of Stamford Bridge with 321 games to his name. Even after his departure, he still has an immense cult-hero status in West London.

With a grand total of eight trophies won in two stints at Chelsea stars, Jose Mourinho has cast a long shadow over Chelsea managers even after his departure. 

Chelsea stats during Abramovich Era

Games played: 855


Games won: 531 

Games drawn: 187 

Games lost: 147

His status as Chelsea's most iconic manager is only further enhanced by his remarks off the pitch, claiming "I am the special one" and suggesting Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was "a specialist in failure." 

It will take some catching to reach this level. 

Best transfer?

The Abramovich Era has seen several stars move to the Bridge with the Russia spending over £1.7 billion on transfers alone. 


Whilst Spaniard Alvaro Morata is the most expensive signing after a £70 million move last summer it is hard to argue against the King of the Bridge, Didier Drogba, being the best signing for the Blues. 

After a £24 million transfer from Marseille in July 2004, the Ivory Coast international went on to score 100 goals for Chelsea in 226 appearances. He then added to that tally with a further four goals in his return to Stamford Bridge in the 2014-15 season. 

It is almost seemingly impossible to imagine a Chelsea without Drogba, who departed in spectacular fashion after scoring the winning penalty in the Champions League final to send West London into ecstasy. 

So while the 6ft 2 striker was a big presence on the pitch, off of it he was a huge idol to a generation of Chelsea fans and one Blues fans will remember for decades to come. 

Worst transfer?

Fernando Torres's £50 million move in January 2011 to the English Capital from Liverpool where he netted 18 goals in 22 appearances the season previous looked like a shrewd move by all accounts. 

However, it just didn't work out for El Nino who only scored once in 14 appearances for the Blues in his first season. 


His abysmal start to life at Stamford Bridge was epitomised by his open goal miss at Old Trafford in September 2011. 

His reputation was somewhat restored, though, after securing the winner in the Champions League Semi-final clash against Barcelona, beating Goal-keeper Victor Valdes to secure a Champions League final for the Blues. 

Best trophy lift?

With a total of 15 trophies accumulated during the Abramovich Era including five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups and a Europa League and Champions League Trophy, there has been much to celebrate in West London over the last 15 years. 

To many people, winning a domestic league is always special as it shows the immense work a club has put in over nine months. 

For Chelsea to win five in 15 years, then, is a testament to how consistently excellent the Blues have been despite an influx of managers and players in West London. 

However, the Champions League final will always remain a fond memory for the Chelsea fans. To win in such style against Bayern Munich after being underdogs for so much of the match and to add insult to injury doing so in Munich put the icing on the cake for what was a brilliant achievement for Chelsea. 


Most goals 

With a grand total of 211 goals in 489 appearances in 11 seasons all-time record goal-scorer and now Derby boss Frank Lampard sits at the head of Chelsea's scoring charts. 

Joining Chelsea from West Ham in 2001, the English midfielder really came into his element after boss Mourinho took charge of Stamford Bridge. 

The rest they say is history. Not even Lampard's move to rivals Manchester City where he scored against his beloved Chelsea in September 2014 could diminish his iconic status at the club.

It has been a fruitful, eventful and sometimes rocky 15 years in West London for Chelsea. But one Chelsea fans old and young will remember.

What do you make of the Abramovich reign? Let us know in the comments below.

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