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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich personally sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari
Published : 01 Apr 2009 08:26:56
Speaking in an interview to be published in Esquire magazine, Kenyon tells how he received a phone call on holiday in Barbados from Abramovich on the night of Chelsea's 0-0 draw with Hull City in February to discuss the Brazilian's position. With Abramovich unconvinced by the World Cup winning coach's ability to turn things round and the season threatening to unravel, Scolari was sacked just seven months in to his tenure. 'A decision was made to which we were all party, by the owner, which is the natural and correct way for it to happen,' Kenyon said. 'The results were deteriorating and the point had been reached, after much debate, that maybe they would not get better and the season was in jeopardy.' Abramovich's decision appears to have been vindicated, with the club enjoying an upturn in fortunes under Hiddink, though the chopping and changing of managers goes against a mantra of stability and steady building that Kenyon has preached at Chelsea since his arrival from Manchester United. Just two weeks prior, Kenyon had told the same magazine that Scolari would not be sacked and needed more time to bed in to the Premier League. 'For longer than the Christmas period or for 2010,' said Kenyon of Scolari's appointment. 'Why are we surprised that a guy who managed successfully at international level, that moving to league level is a bit of a change? That was one of our considerations. What you are looking for is core competence and core values, that this guy can do the job. And you know what: he will. 'To achieve what we want to achieve, we can't just keep changing managers every year,' Kenyon maintained. 'That does not work.' Kenyon even joked there was 'a headline in the making' when he insisted he was confident that Scolari would still be in charge when the interview was published. After Ambramovich rendered Kenyon's prediction false by sacking Scolari, many wondered if Kenyon himself might follow but he has remained, with Chelsea now looking more buoyant than just two months ago. The relationship between Kenyon and Abramovich has been strained at times over the pair's differing attitude towards Chelsea's progression under the Russian's ownership. Kenyon famously proclaimed that the club's intention was to become self-financing by 2011, an idea that Kenyon says he had to talk Abramovich in to. 'Roman's demand was that we are not going to wait nine years nine months for success,' said Kenyon. 'Just because you have £1bn or £12bn doesn't mean you can win. 'That comes with time and structure, investing in facilities as well as players.' 'You have to be ruthless. You have to be fair, that is an important value I have, but you shouldn't mix that up with being soft.'