After a tumultuous season that involved a mid-season sacking of another promising manager who had failed to connect with the geezers on the starting squad, Chelsea have managed to turn their season around with interim boss, Roberto Di Matteo, at the helm. The man led the aging players to FA cup glory this past Sunday and has led them to the Champions League final, which they’ve never won. The funny thing is, the man’s fate is yet to be decided upon by the tyrannic club owner, Roman Abramovich.
The Russian’s name is foreboding and brings to mind images of that machine in Rocky IV, Ivan Drago. Though the man, doesn’t knock people out for a living, he does a have a pretty indulgent yacht that cost $1 billion. Dude knows how to drop racks.
Although he has the benefit of being rich as hell, Biggie’s “Mo Money, Mo Problems” is particularly relevant to his plight at Chelsea. Not willing to go about winning by developing solid youth programs, the 68th richest man in the world (Forbes) has tried to buy success. Unsurprisingly, this method hasn’t worked in a game where players have to have great chemistry with not only themselves, but the manager as well. Seven managers have been shown the door in the past eight years. Basically, Abramovich is either an evil, emotionless human being or a robot.
Disclaimer: the next part of this piece is purely fictional
I wanted to talk to Abramovich about his treacherous job as owner and overall lack of patience, so I tried to ring up the self-made billionaire at his Moscow estate. To my surprise, Diddy answered the phone. Turns out he acts as Roman’s secretary when he’s not doing shooting Ciroc ads. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi, can I talk to Roman Abramovich?
Diddy: (hasn’t realized he answered the phone) Siri, remind me to watch the Biggest Loser tonight. That sh*t makes me feel good about myself.
Me: Excuse me, is Mr. Abramovich there?
Diddy: Yo, what’s poppin? You’ve reached the muthaf*ckin estate of the n*gga that owns Chelsea.
Me: Is this Puff Daddy?
Diddy: I’m the D to the A to the D-D-Y…What’d you just call me son? F*ck outta here with that sh*t. I changed my name a longass time ago and these industry n*ggas still wanna act as if they talkin to the same dude that was in that video where Nas was crucified.
Me: I have some questions to ask Mr. Abramovich for an article, could you arrange that?
Diddy: *laughs* N*gga never home, gotta call him on the yacht. Try this number….(hangs up)
After that failure, I sent a draft of this story that I hoped would reach Eclipse, Roman’s yacht. I took some solace in finding that someone had money longer than Puff Daddy’s. After a 2-month wait in which I feared that I wouldn’t hear back from the oligarch, I received a letter in the mail. This is what it said:
“Dear Esteemed Journalist,
I had my maid read me your article and I have to say it paints an unacceptable picture of what I have attempted to do at Chelsea. My goal has always been to have the best club in Europe no matter how far I have to reach down my bottomless pit of money. Villas-Boas was let go because his performance had been far from satisfactory. Di Matteo has been alright, but I want the best. Pep just left Barcelona, I want him. Sure I’ve bought my fair share of players that haven’t turned out to be right for the club. I also let the Special One go. But I convinced John Terry to go to court after he said “f*ck it”. “I’m playing with these muthaf*ckin millions like they ain’t nuthin”, to quote a verse by a friend of mine, Birdman. Print this slander and I’m going to sweep the floor with you.
F*ck it, I got a budget for the lawyer, though.