The last days of the First Roman Empire saw the dying colossal decline and fall.
But the final days of Chelsea’s Roman Empire, reigning world and European champions, represent a palatial building that crumbles in an instant.
On the club’s 117th birthday, the Roman candles were brilliantly and truly blown out.
Less than four weeks ago, Abramovich marched on the field in Abu Dhabi with the World Club Cup, cake frosted.
The final title of 19 – ah, 21 if you include two Community Shields – in his incredible run. Two glorious decades of football, now overshadowed by alignment.
Five Premier Leagues, five FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues, two Europa Leagues and a Super Cup are also in the bag.
But whatever happens next, it is clear that things will never be the same at Stamford Bridge.
With the man making it possible to become an ally of a likely future ‘war criminal’ and accused of helping fund and arm an illegal invasion.
Inside the portals of SW6, shock and awe. Mixed, no doubt, with anger and distrust.
The superstore is closed, with the contents open and Chelsea shirts ripped along the way.
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Chelsea online sales also stopped immediately, merchandise and tickets are no longer available.
Sponsors have prepared their own moves, the logos were paraded in Norwich last night – but not for long.
And while the players and staff will be paid, at least until the end of the season, impacts to the summer and beyond are inevitable.
There is not much sugar left, be ready to spend whatever is necessary.
Even if the new owner arrives at the end of May, any cash he spends buying the club will go straight into the Treasury.
Although financial penalties will be imposed which will affect its value and ability to compete under any edition of Financial Fair Play.
A seemingly certain departure, for nothing, of three of the Blues’ defensive pillars, with the club unable to come up with new terms for Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen near the end of their contracts.
Uncertainty about whether the club will ever be able to fish for talent has been the norm since 2003. Big-name signings demand consistent salaries. Wages may no longer be sustainable.
But it must also be admitted that Abramovich’s investment in the club’s Cobham academy will now be the deciding factor in Chelsea’s success or failure on the pitch.
The next Declan Rice will be kept on board, as will future Tammy Abraham. For Armando Broja: Welcome back home. You did a great job at Southampton. Now we REALLY need you.
The government insists it is not targeting Chelsea fans, merely club owners.
Indeed, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said during a meeting in the Downing Street lobby: “The principle is to try and minimize the impact on fans and the broader football pyramid.
“These measures are clearly designed to punish those close to Vladimir Putin and to ensure that any kind of revenue generated cannot get into the Russian war machine.”
That message was reinforced when Sports Secretary Nigel Huddleston met with worried Chelsea supporters in a “constructive dialogue” to “ensure they are not severely impacted”.
His promise was that the club and fans would be protected from “irreparable damage” but the angry reaction of many Blues supporters suggested that argument was not registered.
They may neither forgive nor forget.
Chelsea also had to find a way to deal with snowballing events, with the rest of the hierarchy – who were given only 15 minutes’ notice of the punishment decision – meeting in an emergency session when they try to handle the impact.
The club’s official response, announced at lunchtime, is intended to both reassure the immediate fans and force the Government to recognize its responsibility.
Chelsea said: “We will complete the men’s and women’s matches against Norwich and West Ham, and intend to enter into discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence.
“This will include applying for a license to be modified to allow the club to operate as normally as possible.
“We will also seek guidance from the UK Government on the impact of these measures on the Chelsea Foundation and its vital work in our community.”
In other words, a word of warning. If this club is successful, it will be on your head, Prime Minister. But outside of Chelsea, few people can make excuses.
Those devastating scenes in Mariupol and Kharkiv stung the nation’s conscience, alerted many to the true evil in Putin’s war machine and showed a willingness to document guilty verdicts. to all his friends in the same situation.
Abramovich must try to process the fortune he has spent 19 years building or risk it simply evaporating.
However, told he couldn’t bank a dime against the final price – and even more than a week ago, a painful sale – the Russian couldn’t win. Only lose, heavy.
Chelsea, reached the top of the planet just 27 days ago.
Now staring at the end of all the ambitions and dreams, facing a reality that will feel like a football nightmare.
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4869577/chelsea-future-club-birthday-abramovich-survival-fight/ Chelsea’s future is in doubt on the club’s BIRTHDAY as Roman Abramovich’s reign ends in chaos and battle for survival