“It’s just making money… you can’t identify with that” – Former Chelsea player slams owners’ new model

Ruud Gullit is a man who knows a thing or two about the chaos at Chelsea – he was manager when Ken Bates was in charge, let’s not forget.

Yet watching from afar, even he’s been surprised by the chaos this season. Mauricio Pochettino was appointed with talk of a long term project, struggled through the season, finally found a winning formula, achieved his goals – and then was sacked.

It’s all rather odd, and in an interview picked up by TeamTalk, the former Chelsea player-coach explained how he felt about the whole thing and how it reflected on the Blues ownership.

Paul Winstanley walks alongside Todd Boehly

Chelsea’s new direction is more business than football says former favourite

“If you don’t perform at Chelsea, you are immediately out. That is still the case,” the Dutchman said.

“That was already the case in my time under Ken Bates. I still think it is a very strange club, it also happened to Carlo Ancelotti. Pochettino was in a difficult position, he knew that.

“And he actually managed to squeeze out a reasonable performance, although it was not great.

“During my period I still had the feeling: this is a football club. There was another thought behind it, with Roman Abramovich. But if you look now: you can’t really identify with that, can you? It seems like a business model; it’s just making money.”

He’s not the only one who fears that the new direction we’ve taken seems more focused on profits than trophies, although the evidence of the last two years has made profits look almost as tricky to come by.

Perhaps what this ownership have underappreciated is that selling players for a profit requires them to play well, and that require a winning team. And generally speaking, winning teams aren’t best built by sacking a coach the moment they seem to find their feet.

Tags Ruud Gullit Todd Boehly

1 Comment

  1. What is Gullit talking about? If this was merely about “making money” as he alleges then the owners wouldn’t have invested more than a billion pounds in young talent, lol! Let’s face it, Gullit’s logic breaks down IMMEDIATELY because the owners haven’t made ANYTHING yet—they’ve taken a GIGANTIC loss on this project so far!

    It’s at once an incredibly cynical AND a totally nonsensical argument from Gullit and it’s really poor on SuperFrank’s part that he doesn’t bother to poke at it—because it falls apart under even the slightest scrutiny. The owners lose HUGELY if they can’t make Chelsea a perennial winner again, so this idea that they have made a managerial change lightly or capriciously is utter nonsense, and framing it as a “sacking” is also ignoring the fact that Poch agreed just as readily to the change as the ownership and directors. When all parties realized they did not share the same common vision it was the only resolution that made sense!

    It’s fair to level criticism at the the owners for reshaping the club if, for example, you believe spending more on established veterans gets you more trophies than investing in youth, but the argument that this ownership group is any different from past owners(in wanting their prized asset to win and appreciate in value just doesn’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny. Further, when I see it offered up with fair frequency it comes across less as a good faith criticism of the owners and more as a stalking horse for a not-so-thinly-veiled anti-American bias among footballing fans who still think Americans know nothing about the sport. These fans resent the perceived intrusion of foreign money into their club(s) despite the fact that it’s the very same money that allows Premier League clubs to outspend most of their continental rivals. It ignores the reality that the big clubs (like Chelsea) long ago became global brands and that their ability to remain competitive doesn’t just rely on foreign investment, it DEMANDS it!

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