When Roman Abramovich arrived, Chelsea quickly became the epitome of the ‘too many cooks’ theory when it came to the playing squad. Players were brought in left and right, filling the smallest of needs with multi-million pound signings. Then, the same approach was taken to the management of the club with Peter Kenyon, Jose Mourinho and Frank Arnesen all handed influential roles in guiding the club. Other than injuries, the in-fighting was probably Chelsea’s biggest difficulty as they failed to defend their title from Manchester United.
The latter caused problems, as reports of a power-struggle between Mourinho and Arnesen persisted while the nature of Andriy Shevchenko’s arrival allegedly created tension between Jose and Abramovich. Peter Kenyon even came out publicly with a plea to put all the off-pitch squabbling to an end.
I hope we don’t repeat what happened last year,” said the chief executive, who was speaking as Chelsea unveiled their new training facility at Cobham in Surrey. “It overshadowed a lot of good stuff. It was a tough year for everyone last season. The sooner we get back to the positives the better, and there were enough positive football activities going on.”
So, assuming that the trio of mature, experienced professionals were able to put aside their differences for the benefit of Chelsea Football Club, what would be the logical next step? Well, introducing yet another Abramovich-enforced signing at the management level probably wasn’t on most people’s minds as former Israel coach (and Roman’s buddy) Avram Grant arrived to make it four cooks in a very crowded Chelsea kitchen,
“Grant will be responsible for liaison on, and co-ordination of, football matters across the various areas of Chelsea,” read a club statement.
“He will also sit on the football club board and report to chief executive Peter Kenyon.
“His experience and knowledge will play an important role in the formulation of overall football policy with Kenyon, Jose Mourinho and Frank Arnesen.”
This hiring can be called a lot of things, “a good idea” just wasn’t the first that came to our minds.