Roman Abramovich gone: This is a moment Chelsea fans will want to forget

 

Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich. [AP Photo, Matt Dunham]

To all Chelsea fans, this is a moment they’d never wished for. A moment no one had seen coming.

In fact, they never thought it would happen. No.

Nothing in life is static; it either gets better, or gets worse. For the Blues brigade, it’s on the brink. It could get worse. It really could.

After splashing just Sh457 billion, a new owner will occupy the very seat Russian owner Roman Abramovich did. Yes, time has come for the Russian Oligarch to let go of his team, Chelsea, The Blues. After 19 years at the helm, it’s time to say goodbye to the team he helped morph into the world-beaters they are today.

To the Chelsea faithful, they must be glad they met the Russian billionaire at their weakest point. Roman helped them become a better side, however, the moon is shinning a little dimmer for those dressed in blue. The London bridge is falling down and the stars are little less bright. At this point, there is no doubt that their hearts are somewhat heavier.

To them, this goodbye will no doubt last forever, but they will forget Roman Abramovich never. He’s been their pillar of strength. Their fortress.

The Russian billionaire turned the London squad into a leading force in England. In fact, Chelsea is the English club with most major trophies since the Millennium.

Since 2003, Chelsea have in their cabinet, 19 major trophies, winning the Champions League two times; in 2012 and 2021. Enviable. Impressive.

But that was then. All these are about to be in history books. How sad. How drastic. Quite unprecedented too. But then again, life is a ceaseless flow; everything keeps changing. Nothing is fixed. Always moving. Chelsea are moving, but no one knows towards which direction.

“In the current situation, I have taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors,” said Abramovich in a statement.

Many a Chelsea faithful can’t picture life at Stamford Bridge without the Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich. They hardly can. How now? Why now? Why them...

Roman Abramovich. [Courtesy]

The fear of the unknown is growing deeper with every second. If a messenger was to tell the Blues party some years back that a day like today would come to pass, he would no doubt have been seized and bound for a thousand years. The simple thought of such bordered on sacrilege.

Abramovich’s departure certainly leaves fans hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Their future will no doubt be uncertain at Stamford Bridge. Things will never be the same again. Starting from the point when money will exchange hands, they’ll never be the same again... Will they continue to sign world-class players? Will the financial tap continue to flow like it used to for the past 19 years? Will they continue to partake of milk and honey?

The constant financial backing Chelsea had been receiving from this man has been invaluable. Since 2003, Chelsea have spent about Sh244 billion on transfers.

To the hopeful, this is nothing but a hiccup. To the pragmatic lot, it could get worse, a lot worse. This move could just mark the end of this largesse. To the fence-sitters and not-so-die-hard fans, nothing changes. To them, things change, a lot happens, but life goes on.

Abramovich leaving is scary. Very scary. Even to the die-hards, it has hit them where it pains most.

“New ownership creates uncertainty about future success. We were used to him (Roman Abramovich). People take time to adapt to a new system. As Chelsea fans, we weren’t ready for this. We are just praying and hoping for the better,” said Chelsea fan, Alexina Ambani.

Abramovich’s money bought Chelsea everything they yearned for. They could land any player they dreamt of, but that money couldn’t buy them the unforeseen. Simple.

To the Chelsea fans, they are surely not saying goodbye to a man they’ve known for close to two decades. All they say is thank you. They are smiling because it happened.

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