Bruce Buck, Chelsea’s chairman, has admitted that the club’s owner Roman Abramovich and the board are frustrated at the team’s form in an emailed reply to a fan who demanded the board should sack under-fire manager Rafael Benitez.
Benitez took charge after things started to take a turn for the worse under Champions League and FA Cup winning manager Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season, a decision which angered the supporters who feel alienated by a club that doesn’t seem to listen to their grievances.
Results haven’t improved and the fact that Benitez is there leaves a bad taste in the mouth for too many and they cannot bear it to continue, hence the online petitions for his removal and the increasingly popular #RafaOut hashtag.
Supporter Dan Silver decided to voice his opinion to Buck via email, he explained his opposition to Benitez:
“His anti-Chelsea diatribes will not be forgotten, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for him but the inept displays, the inept substitutions and tactics and the inability to change a match when teams come and defend is simply not good enough.
“His presence at the club is divisive, the true fans are angry and upset, he is hindering our progress. We have some outstanding talent at the club, we just need the right man to take us forward – Rafa is not that man.
“He was unemployed for two years post Inter, which to me suggests that he can’t cut the mustard, top coaches are not out of work for long unless it’s by choice.
“In my humble opinion Rafa should go before he does too much damage.”
Buck, 66, replied:
“Thank you for your email. Contrary to your expectation, I have read it.
“You will appreciate that I cannot respond to the specific points you raise but the Board and Roman are as frustrated as you are with some of the recent results. We are all working as hard as we can to change things around.
“I hope you will continue your support of the club as the boys really need your backing now.”
Buck is a lawyer by trade and replied like one, but the crucial lines in the body of the email were:
“The Board and Roman are as frustrated as you are with some of the recent results.”
The Chelsea board haven’t been known to be the most patient, which isn’t unique to the West London club (despite the fact it’s always presented as such), as the likes of Inter Milan, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have a high turnover of managers in the past. But I believe they’re forced into backing Benitez at the moment despite being fully aware of the backlash the appointment cause, perhaps they didn’t realise the upset it would cause because they’re out of touch with the fans or he may have been the only man willing to take the job at that time and we can only speculate on their reasoning.
It’s thought that the revolving door policy at Stamford Bridge put off Pep Guardiola, who was our number one target, from taking charge at Stamford Bridge next season and he opted for Bayern Munich for the purposes of security. Should Chelsea axe a second manager in the one season it could potentially harm their pursuit of a permanent manager as anyone that has been earmarked for the job is unavailable at present.
Jose Mourinho is the fans favourite but there’s no chance of Chelsea paying to release him from Real Madrid and even less chance of the Spanish club sacking him as they won’t want to fork out a hefty compensation package. Then there’s Jurgen Klopp, he’ll stay at Dortmund for the foreseeable future. David Moyes is happy at Everton and wants to try to get them into the top four, even if he does decide he will move on he won’t leave his current club in the lurch mid-season. Fabio Capello and Louis van Gaal and Fabio Capello are busy managing national sides, whilst my personal favourite Guus Hiddink will stay at Anzhi until the end of the season minimum.