Given the choice of being at Stamford Bridge last night, what self-respecting Chelsea supporter would have missed it? And what if you had a VIP ticket allowing you to sit wherever you pleased, entry to any area of the ground, including the dressing room, transport (by private jet if necessary) to the game and back? Could you turn all that down even though you’ve “fallen in love with” the club of your choice? Abramovich obviously can.
But not only did our elusive owner miss out on last night’s celebrations, he also failed to turn up for our home game against Utd last weekend. In fact, he’s been on the missing list since the Carling Cup final. Now whilst I appreciate some of our performances have been pretty painful to sit through this season, the Champions League has been the Russian’s Holy Grail since his arrival and millions have been spent in pursuit of this much coveted prize. So where was he when we qualified for the final?
We’re told he has work commitments, but unless Vladimir Putin has him locked in a cupboard under the stairs, then ‘a busy day at the office’ doesn’t really excuse his absence. This is, after all, a man who can travel wherever he likes, whenever he likes, in whichever private jet he fancies giving a run out at the time. So what’s really going on with him? Is this a trial separation before the acrimonious split everyone has always predicted?
Maybe that passion he felt in the honeymoon period has worn thin? Gone is the heady excitement of lavishing cash on his new found love as proof of his commitment to this new relationship. No place for the backslapping congratulations in the dressing room, once welcoming him as part of the family. In its place the realisation that even love affairs don’t always sail as easily as your latest luxury yacht and disillusionment as the matrimony goes sour.
Far be it from me to name Grant as ‘the other woman’, but maybe his appointment is where it all went wrong? Whilst Roman could be forgiven for a little indiscretion in wooing Ballack and Shevchenko behind TSO’s back, his blatant flaunting of Grant seemed to signal a clear announcement that the Russian alone was the head of this particular household. And with housekeeping money withdrawn in a further act of assertion, no amount of marriage guidance was going to bring about a reconciliation. And so the breadwinner was left to face the consequences of his actions.
Never more so than when, with wounds still open, and grief still raw, the announcement came that the Russian’s Israeli mate had been given the job of ‘making it all better’. But after the aesthetic easiness of his predecessor on his adoring disciples, this surrogate replacement was viewed as nothing more than a temporary eye sore – and one that would not be tolerated. And so the hostilities began. Former gratitude replaced by resentment as saviour turned into sinner – former benevolence regarded as a bribe, expecting souls to be sold in return. And no amount of sitting among the family imitating their devotion was going to change that as spleens were publicly vented.
So already feeling unloved and now unexcited by the object of his seemingly former affection, is divorce on the cards? And where would that leave us?
Well clearly there’d be a period of readjustment to make ends meet, although the £550 million pre-nuptial cheque would ease that somewhat. Our debts already cleared, we wouldn’t have a mortgage to worry about either and we’ve got a nice new training ground to send the kids to play. Ahhhh forgot about the kids, maybe some of them will have to leave home eh?