Roman Abramovich to Cease Backing the Blues

Bela TrimmelCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2008

Chelsea went through to the knockout stages of the Champions League today with a win over Cluj.

With talent running thin and injured, many were wondering the Blues would make it out of group play at all.

While the team are still in the running for both the Champions League and the Premiership titles, it is worth fast forwarding to the start of the 2009-2010 season.

After this season, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will cease to support the team.

Chief Executive at the club, Peter Kenyon, went on record as saying that he wishes to make the club self-sufficient. He looks for the team to be profitable on its own within two years.

Right Move, Wrong Time?

Kenyon stated less than a month ago that Chelsea would not do much shopping during the upcoming transfer window. If Abramovich pulls the purse closed before the summer signing window can get going, the club may experience a bleaker shopping season than Macy's.

The move to make Chelsea independent is logical.

Since the Russian oil magnate arrived at Stamford Bridge, the team has been accused of buying their back-to-back Premiership titles. Abramovich put out much of his own money to make sure the club could land signings such as Didier Drogba.

The moves to buy players with limited team success has led to Chelsea having its third manager in two years.

Had they not went through to the knockout stages, they would likely be on their fourth.

By moving away from a reliance on the owner's money, it gives the board a bit more freedom to do what it wants with the managerial staff and the signings.

While it is a logical move, it may be the wrong time to attempt to wean the club off the money.

In an earlier article, I wrote about how the credit crisis being felt by the world was finally trickling down to football.

This could be the catalyst to bring Stamford Bridge down.

In such tight financial times, it does not make sense to pull away from the backing that has been there through the long run.

With the coming transfer period, start watching for who Chelsea put up for sale and how much they collect. That will determine how talented the team lineup will be come fall.