In a dramatic finish to Europeans soccer’s secondary intramural tournament, the Europa Cup, English side Chelsea FC defeated the Portuguese stars Benefica on Wednesday. Hoisting the trophy with a half-hearted smile was Chelsea’s manager, Rafa Benitez. This man has been the recipient of more than his share of gaff for his team’s performance, and has had his eventual firing predicted since the day he signed to helm the blues. The weight of the Europa League trophy, despite being approximately 20 pounds heavier than any other major piece of soccer silverware, is not enough to outweigh the more significant expectations of Chelsea’s rabid fanbase, and more directly, those of the teams owner, Roman Abromavich.
Abromavich is a Russian billionaire with a competitive streak. As such a personality would command, he held the distinction of owning the world’s largest yacht for three years. He purchased the UK’s most prized jumping pony for his daughter. And, in 2003, he bought Chelsea, the top club of London’s affluent west end, and named the acquisition of a Champion’s League trophy as his main ambition for the team. Since then, Chelsea won their first Champions League top honor, last year, and the oligarch has hired and fired nine managers since taking the reigns, many of which were already established as world class. Because of the lack of job security at this position, the contracts pertaining have had increasingly high severance fees for the whatever disgraced manager left the club, some going as high as 50 million euros.
The current manager, Rafa Benitez, has been looking down the end of this gilded double-barrel, and is likely awaiting the good cry he will have on his way to the bank. However, for the time being, he is begrudgingly receiving the brunt of criticism. All this distress could never be mitigated, why you ask? Because Benitez’s Chelsea will only acquire a presumed third place spot in the English Premiere League, and a Europa League title, which, for Ambromavich, is row to the Champions League’s caviar.
Who will take over for the dead man walking? Most have presumed it will be the colorful Jose Mourinho, the once and future "special one" of Chelsea’s hearts. In recent news one article claims it will be Abromavich himself! The oil magnate apparently has enough confidence in his knowledge of the game and leadership skills, and is currently finishing the training courses to acquire a license. The sources for the article claimed Abrom thought he could buy the necessary badges. If only he could buy and another champions league victory.