Satire: An interview with Roman Abramovich
I couldn’t remember how I ended up in the room, but here I was and there he was. The room was cold and so was the smirk on his face. I was in front of the coach-sacker as they call him, Roman Abramovich. He sat there with his legs crossed on a cushioned chair leaning fully back, basking in his cold glory having inflicted great pain on another man who couldn’t make it past a year at the Bridge. Another in his long line of victims.
I must be daydreaming, I thought.
He offered a seat right across him, the grin still there and two men in full black suits flanking him, not a hint of emotion on their faces.
I took the seat still bewildered.
“So you have many questions in your mind?” he asked. “Let’s talk then.”
ME (still taking in all that was happening): So you sacked another manager, eh?
Roman(in his typical Russian accent): I would like to start by saying that I’m proud to be in your country. Which I don’t own yet.
ME (looking puzzled): Well, it’s India. Anything is possible. Never say never. Coming back to the topic, can you answer the question? Why did you sack Di Matteo?
Roman: Do you have any questions to ask me?
ME (still looking puzzled): I think I just did.
ME: I think so.
Roman: We have a saying in Russia that the smaller the manager the tougher his life is. I try and help in both cases. I value tradition. English football and the people value tradition. Two managers for one year. That’s a tradition. I don’t like breaking tradition.
ME: Why did you sign RDM to a two-season contract?
Roman: That is exactly what the time he was here for: Summer and Autumn. I find new manager for winter. Eva Carneiro may be an exception. She will be here till John (Terry) says otherwise.
ME: So how did Mourinho manage to do that?
Roman: Yes. I hear they call him the special one now, eh? We have saying in Russia that life is tough but at least it’s short.
ME: So did you have a back-up plan?
Roman: Yes. I plan and people in the room back-up my plan. We have a saying in Russia that life is tough, but we keep it simple.
ME: No, I meant the part where you think and judge of who will be in charge before you fire a manager.
Roman: When I started life selling small plastic toys, then I learn that back-up plan is important.
ME: But I heard there is a saying in Russia that ‘back-up plans are for losers’. Can you confirm?
Roman: I have never heard of Sayings. Who is he? How much does he cost?
ME: We really are getting off on the wrong foot over here. You just said of the many sayings that are in Russia. Was merely referring to that.
Roman: We have a saying in Russia that the bigger the oil empire is, shorter is the memory.
Roman: Oh, so now you want to talk football. I love Chelsea and watch them everyday. I can talk about Chelsea as you put it ‘until the cows come home’. You worship cows in India, and I worship Chelsea.
ME: So you replaced Di Matteo with Benitez instead of Pep? Only thing he seems to have is more of facial hair.
Roman: Is the new man’s name Rafa? Forget facial hair. Roberto was too short to manage Chelsea.
ME: So a lot of this had with Roberto’s height if I understood you correctly?
Roman: The Champions League is hard to win, but Chelsea are still champions you see. All of them except one.
Before I could ask my next question he just waves me off: “So you want to know more about Roman Abramovich and Chelsea? Please ask me anything you want to but no mention of the bunny that jumped in John’s lap.”
(comes close and whispers in my ear) “I know where you live.”
ME (distinctly shaken): Do you miss Drogba?
Roman : I thought I was buying Drogba. Not Chelsea. My former advisor has been replaced.
ME: Drogba wasn’t even here when you bought the club.
Roman: As I said. My former advisor is missing.
Roman: When I first started to sell gasoline, my manager was found bound and gagged at the bottom of a river. I knew then that managers have a difficult life. But at least it’s short.
ME: Didn’t want to go there really! Do you even remember the first manager that worked for you in Chelsea I mean.
Roman: I think he was Italian. Not part of Mafia though.
ME (Thinking this a bad dream): That, I think is more than sufficient given all the pressures you have.
You have to pay these sacked managers huge amounts of compensation. Doesn’t it hurt?
Roman: Torres’s goal bonus money helps, and then there is my wallet. We Russians have a saying: “Wallets are big, but life is tough.”
ME: We should wrap this up now since we are running out of time, but one last question. What future do you envisage for your club??
Roman: My club will climb mountain of success, only the managers would fall off the edge.
ME: I am really at a loss, but thanks for your time though!
Roman: Thank you for time too and I know where you live so take care with matches. In Russia we have a saying “time is money, money is gas.”
On the way out, the voice just said “We Russians have a saying: Don’t let the door hit your short life on the tough way out.”
The door certainly hit me hard. I suddenly woke up from my slumber, jaded and flustered but awake and looking at the bemused face of my mother.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of humour, and should not be taken seriously.