Roman Abramovich’s hire ’em and fire ’em regime at Chelsea continued with the sacking of Frank Lampard this week, the fans’ favourite’s status as a club legend not enough to save him from the trigger-happy Russian owner.
Abramovich will now be looking to make his 12th permanent managerial appointment since taking ownership of the west London side back in 2003, the club’s billionaire backer notoriously results driven with little patience for periods of inconsistency.
His penchant for change – alongside a substantial amount of investment – has paved the way for the most successful period in Chelsea’s history, but how do the Blues compare to the Premier League’s most successful clubs over that period.
Here are the five Premier League clubs to have won the most major trophies since Abramovich bought Chelsea:
Arsenal – 6
Arsenal’s status as the capital’s leading side was largely secure until the arrival of Abramovich at Chelsea, with the north Londoners having regularly contested for the Premier League title across the turn of the millennium.
Arsene Wenger’s side held off the challenge of a billionaire-backed Chelsea during Abramovich’s first season as owner, winning the title during a historic unbeaten campaign in 2003/04.
However, that title remains the last time the Gunners were crowned as champions with their fortunes having declined since then, the move to the Emirates Stadium having seen Arsenal struggle to compete financially in the years that followed.
Arsenal have since added five FA Cups to their collection including winning the trophy under Mikel Arteta during the 2019/20 season, though have largely failed to compete for the game’s biggest prizes in recent seasons with two runners-up finishes the closest they have come to Premier League success over the past 16 years.
Liverpool – 7
Liverpool edge out Arsenal in fourth having won seven major trophies since Abramovich took ownership of Chelsea, including twice being crowned champions of Europe after winning the Champions League in 2005 and 2019.
Rafael Benitez’s side ended Chelsea’s hopes of securing a first European crown during that first triumph after eliminating the west London side in the semi-finals, before beating the Blues in the last four again on their way to winning the FA Cup the following season.
After a period in which major honours proved difficult to come by the Reds have embarked on a fine renaissance under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp in recent seasons, winning the Champions League once more in 2019/20 before ending a three decade wait for league title success last season.
Manchester City – 11
Manchester City joined Chelsea in being catapulted into the elite following a billionaire takeover, the arrival of Sheikh Mansour in 2008 providing the platform for the most successful period in the club’s history.
City’s huge investment has seen the club rise from the shadows of cross-town rivals Manchester United to establish themselves as the most successful side of the past decade, winning four Premier League titles including back-to-back triumphs in 2018 and 2019.
Pep Guardiola’s appointment as manager saw the club set unprecedented standards in terms of consistency, becoming the first Premier League side to reach 100 points in a season and the first ever to win a domestic treble in 2018/19.
City’s 11 major honours have also come as a result of commendably taking each and every competition seriously, winning five of the past seven editions of the League Cup with the potential for a fourth in succession when they take on Tottenham in this season’s final.
Manchester United – 13
Manchester United rank second for major honours since Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea, their list of accolades including winning five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League.
The west London side’s emergence briefly threatened the Red Devils’ status as the Premier League’s dominant force, though United would win three consecutive titles between 2007 and 2009 in arguably the last great side of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Ferguson’s retirement has since ushered in a transitional era and it is now over seven years since the club were last crowned as champions, though silverware success has been found in cup competitions with an FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League added since 2013.
Currently under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and top of the Premier League, hopes are high that further major honours will be heading to Old Trafford in the coming seasons.
Chelsea – 16
No side has won more major trophies in the Abramovich era than Chelsea, the Russian’s demand for nothing less than success having seen the west Londoners lift a huge 16 major honours.
After Claudio Ranieri became the first victim of Abramovich’s regime, Jose Mourinho’s appointment saw Chelsea emerge as the Premier League’s best side with the Portuguese winning five major trophies including back-to-back league titles – the first ending a 50-year wait.
Mourinho returned for a second spell and won a third Premier League crown in 2015, whilst both Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte have overseen Chelsea sides crowned as champions of England.
Abramovich’s investment also saw Chelsea become the first ever London club to win the Champions League, Roberto Di Matteo guiding the Blues to success with Didier Drogba starring during the club’s 2012 final victory over Bayern Munich.