Other heads to have rolled since Abramovich took over at Chelsea
Claudio Ranieri (1,335 days)
(September 2000 to May 2004)
Life under Abramovich: The first manager to spend Abramovich’s billions was under pressure from day one amid rumours Sven-Goran Eriksson was being lined up to replace him. The “Tinkerman” tag did not help the Italian and, despite finishing second in the Premier League and reaching the Champions League semi-finals, he was sacked.
Life after Abramovich: Returned to his former club Valencia, immediately winning the European Super Cup, but was sacked six months later. Has won nothing since, despite landing prestigious jobs at Parma, Juventus, Roma, and Internazionale. Currently managing Monaco in France’s second tier.
José Mourinho (1,205 days)
(June 2004 to September 2007)
Life under Abramovich: Declared himself the “Special One” and completely lived up to the moniker, becoming the most successful Chelsea manager ever. Immediately ended their 50-year wait for a league title with back-to-back Premier League crowns and also won the FA Cup and two League Cups. Champions League glory remained elusive and a power struggle with Abramovich eventually saw him leave.
Life after Abramovich: Resurfaced at Internazionale. One of the most successful managers in their history, he became only the third coach to win the Champions League with two different clubs. Now at Real Madrid where he became the first man to win league titles in England, Italy and Spain.
Avram Grant (246 days)
(September 2007 to May 2008)
Life under Abramovich: Less than two months after arriving as Chelsea’s director of football, Grant found himself parachuted into the manager’s role. Speculation suggested dressingroom unrest but he still managed to get the club to their only Champions League final up until then. Also reached the League Cup final and finished second in the Premier League before he was sacked.
Life after Abramovich: History repeated itself as Grant joined Portsmouth as director of football in October 2009, once again becoming manager less than two months later. Boosted his reputation by leading the side to the FA Cup final despite the administration saga that saw them relegated. Resigned and joined West Ham but was sacked after they were relegated.
Luiz Felipe Scolari (223 days)
(July 2008 to February 2009)
Life under Abramovich: Billed as the man to inspire Chelsea to take the final step in the Champions League, the World Cup-winner enjoyed a flying start but things soon began to go wrong amid rumours of dressing room unrest. The timing of the Brazilian’s sacking after just seven months still came as shock.
Life after Abramovich: Made surprise decision to move to Uzbekistan and join the champions Bunyodkor, although the salary reportedly made him one of the highest-paid managers around. Left after less than a year and returned to former club Palmeiras, but recently lost his job.
Guus Hiddink (105 days)
(February 2009 to May 2009)
Life under Abramovich: Still revered by players and fans for rescuing Chelsea’s season while combining the Russia job with a caretaker role at Stamford Bridge. Won the FA Cup and was desperately unlucky not to reach the Champions League final, Hiddink lost only one game when in charge.
Life after Abramovich: Continued as Russia boss until June 2010, leaving after failing to lead them to the World Cup. Became Turkey manager but left in November after losing another play-off, this time for the European Championships. Persistently linked with a return to Chelsea after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked before joining the mega-rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in February.
Carlo Ancelotti (690 days)
(June 2009 to May 2011)
Life under Abramovich: Recruited largely because of two Champions League successes at Milan, instead delivered Chelsea’s first ever double in his first season. Nevertheless, his reputation was damaged by losing in the Champions League last 16, and a trophy-less season followed.
Life after Abramovich: Linked with several jobs in England and abroad, December saw him appointed manager of the big-spending France Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
André Villas-Boas (256 days)
(June 2011 to Mar 2012)
Life under Abramovich: Arrived in London to a splash of publicity and dubbed the new Mourinho after a stellar spell in charge of Porto, which took in domestic and European titles. Cracks soon emerged, though, with senior players reportedly baffled by his methods and unhappy with his selection policy. He was sacked after a defeat at West Brom.
Life after Abramovich: Returned to English football in the summer when he replaced Harry Redknapp at Tottenham. Domestic form has been mixed, with a memorable victory at Manchester United the highlight and punishing derby defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea the lows.