Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea deny Abramovich ‘had words’ with AVB

By Ben Rumsby

Chelsea last night denied claims owner Roman Abramovich held ‘showdown' talks with manager Andre Villas-Boas before the club's breathtaking 3-3 draw with Manchester United.

The Blues confirmed Abramovich spoke to Villas-Boas during a rare visit to the club's training ground on Saturday before attending Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.

But they insist the Russian billionaire remains fully behind the 34-year-old's project, following a report he had become frustrated with results under the Portuguese.

A spokesman said: “Roman likes to get down to Cobham and watch training whenever he can. He was able to visit on Saturday and he and Andre had a good chat after the training session, which is normal.”

It is thought Saturday was the first time Abramovich had watched Chelsea train this season, with the 45-year-old's focus having been on his high-profile court case with former associate Boris Berezovsky.

He spent 35 minutes casting his eye over the session before spending another 20 speaking with Villas-Boas.

He also spent half an hour talking to players in the dressing room after Sunday's game, which saw Chelsea controversially held to a draw having led 3-0.

The match provided just the kind of entertainment Abramovich is believed to demand, but represented more points lost from a winning position by the Blues at home this season.

Villas-Boas has repeatedly declared he has no doubt he will still be in charge at Stamford Bridge next season, despite Abramovich having sacked almost every manager who has failed to win the title during his nine years as owner.

The Russian appears to be more patient with the current regime, perhaps recognising the squad needs a significant overhaul before being able to challenge United and City.

Belfast Telegraph


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