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Five shortest reigns as Chelsea manager under Abramovich

Frank Lampard became Chelsea’s 14th manager of the Roman Abramovich era when he was appointed to replace Maurizio Sarri back in July.

Despite losing his 4-0 to Manchester United and suffering a penalty shoot-out to defeat to Liverpool in his first two outings as Blues boss, the commonly held view is that Lampard will be given more slack than usual from trigger happy owner Abramovich due to the clubs transfer ban and the desire to finally integrate some of the west London outfits most promising young players.

However, as this list shows being a club legend or even enjoying historic success has not always stopped Blues bosses from facing the wrath of Red Rom.


Here are the five shortest reigns as Chelsea manager under Abramovich…

Avram Grant

20th September 2007 – 24th May 2008

Having initially arrived at the club as director of football, the Israeli became the club’s manager just two months later following the departure of Jose Mourinho.

With a little luck, Grant’s brief tenure at Stamford Bridge could be remembered much more fondly as Chelsea finished the season as runners-up in several competitions.

Chelsea lost the League Cup final to London rivals Tottenham, and finished second in the Premier League to Manchester United. Grant led the Blues to their first ever Champions League final, where they again finished as runners-up to United following a penalty shoot-out defeat in Moscow.

Despite failing to win silverware, Grant enjoyed an impressive 67% win record as Blues boss before he was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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Luiz Felipe Scolari

1st July 2008 – 9th February 2009

The Brazilian arrived with a big reputation having guided his home country to 2002 World Cup success, becoming the first World Cup-winning manager to take charge of a Premier League side.

Scolari lasted just seven months at Stamford Bridge, before being replaced by Ray Wilkins and then Guus Hiddink following a poor run of form.

Chelsea actually began brightly under Scolari’s stewardship, sitting top of the division 13 games into the Premier League season.

However, from there they faded and Scolari was sacked with a win percentage of 55% from his 36 games in charge.

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André Villas-Boas

22 June 2011 – 4th March 2012

A bright young Portuguese manager who had just led Porto to European success? Chelsea had been here before and the appointment of Villas-Boas saw the inevitable Mourinho comparisons.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, that was where the comparisons would end and any hopes that the club’s new manager would provide a similarly successful era didn’t last long.

After a strong start the club’s form soon took a nosedive, with the young manager cancelling the squad’s day off and called the player’s in for an inquest.

That decision appeared to backfire, with several senior players questioning his tactics in front of owner Abramovich and by March he had been sacked.

He lasted just nine months in charge, leaving with a win rate of just 48%.

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Roberto Di Matteo

13th June 2012 – 21st November 2012 (previously caretaker manager from March 4th 2012)

The former Chelsea midfielder replaced Villas-Boas as caretaker manager following the Portuguese’s dismissal, before remarkably leading the club to a cup double.

The popular Italian secured FA Cup success before leading Chelsea to a first ever Champions League success, beating Bayern Munich on penalties in the 2012 final.

Di Matteo’s success led to his permanent appointment that summer, but a poor defence of their Champions League crown saw him lose his job.

Chelsea dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in the group stage, with Di Matteo controversially sacked and replaced on an interim basis by Rafael Benitez.

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Maurizio Sarri

14th July 2018 – 16th June 2019

Chelsea’s recently departed manager spent just one season at Stamford Bridge, guiding the Blues to third in the Premier League and two cup finals.

The second of those finals saw the Italian deliver silverware, with a 4-1 thrashing of London rivals Arsenal in the final of the Europa League.

Despite a relatively successful season, Sarri departed to join Italian champions Juventus after less than 12 months in charge.

Sarri’s future had been uncertain prior to Juventus’ interest, having endured a difficult relationship with the club’s supporters at times this season.

The former Napoli coach never fully convinced the fans during his time at the club, whilst his stubborn tactical approach was met with criticism through his sole season in English football.

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