• Premier League

Chelsea chiefs promise bright future

ESPN staff
July 1, 2013
Chelsea officials Ron Gourlay and Bruce Buck believe there is more success to come at the club © PA Photos

Chelsea officials have painted a picture of future success for the club, confident the Blues were in a strong position to build on recent glories enjoyed under owner Roman Abramovich.

Since taking over the club in 2003, Chelsea have captured three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, a Europa League title and the holy grail of European club football, The Champions League.

Along the way, Abramovich has poured vast amounts of money into the club, saving it from "near bankruptcy" while year after year, re-vamping the squad with some of the world's biggest names.

However, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is confident that the past years of success were only the beginning of the tale for the club.

"It has been a hugely successful decade for Chelsea Football Club since Roman Abramovich took control, with an unprecedented number of trophies in the last 10 years," Gourlay said.

"The club has also taken great strides off the field in that time, adapting to meet the challenges of football's changing landscape.

"Mr Abramovich's early investment in playing staff paid dividends in creating a team admired around the world, but to keep Chelsea among the elite we have always known we must produce our own world-class talent and we are beginning to see the benefits of our Academy, which will help us meet our long-term objectives for Financial Fair Play.

"As we prepare for the next 10 years, I feel we are well positioned to continue the success we have so far enjoyed under Mr Abramovich and everybody here is determined to build on that progress we have made."

Meanwhile, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has hailed Abramovich as the guiding light that forever changed the fortunes of the club, hinting that not even new regulations, most notably UEFA's new Financial Fair Play regulations, could slow the 46-year-old business tycoon.

"What came through to me loud and clear in those early days was the new owner's passion for the game and the potential he saw for what Chelsea FC could achieve, both on and off the pitch," Buck wrote in the Times.

"But few people could have comprehended 10 years ago how Roman Abramovich's ownership would quickly transform Chelsea, taking them from a club facing mid-table mediocrity and near bankruptcy to become one of the most formidable football teams in the world.

"Yes, there is no denying that there have been almost the same number of managers as there have been trophies (11, if the recently returned Jose Mourinho's two spells are counted separately). But the proof is in the pudding.

"Now of course, Chelsea fans, the fans of other clubs, journalists and observers of the world of football look forward. Will Roman Abramovich become bored, having won all the major trophies? My answer is no. Can Jose Mourinho bring more success to the club? My answer is yes."

On the incoming Financial Fair Play regulations, Buck added: "Don't forget, significant investment has already been made and the club now look optimistically at long-term financial stability under the new Financial Fair Play rules."

"Roman Abramovich is certainly a man of great ambition and as fervent a Chelsea fan as any you will meet in the pubs around Fulham Broadway before a match.

"Time will tell what is possible. But if history is any indication of the future, the future is bright blue."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.