Chelsea ‘can’t be identified’ as a football club after Pochettino sack, says ex-Blues boss in Boehly slam

Will Ford
Boehly Eghbali Chelsea
Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have had a tough time of it at Chelsea.

Former Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit has hit out at owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali after sacking Mauricio Pochettino, claiming they are no longer running a football club.

Pochettino led Chelsea to sixth having taken charge of an inexeperienced squad, and dealt with a raft of injury problems in his debut season.

Pochettino’s ‘disgusting’ departure

Most considered it to be a par first campaign but the Argentinian left the club by mutual consent due to disagreements over how he and the owners thought the club should be run.

The owners were reportedly concerned by Pochettino’s ‘antiquated’ training sessions and weren’t happy with his public criticism of co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley.

The players were shocked and in some cases ‘disgusted’ by the club’s decision to get rid of Pochettino, with Nicolas Jackson among those most upset by his departure.

Pochettino won’t be short of suitors having left Stamford Bridge – he’s the current favourite to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United – while Chelsea are expected to appoint Leicester boss Enzo Maresca on a five-year deal.

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Are Chelsea even a football club anymore?

Gullit – who was player-manager at Chelsea for 81 games – claims Boehly and Eghbali have turned Chelsea into a “very strange club”; one that he is now struggling to even identify as a football club.

“If you don’t perform at Chelsea, you are immediately out. That is still the case,” the Dutch hero said in a recent interview.

“That was already the case in my time under Ken Bates. I still think it is a very strange club, it also happened to Carlo Ancelotti. Pochettino was in a difficult position, he knew that.

“And he actually managed to squeeze out a reasonable performance, although it was not great.

“During my period I still had the feeling: this is a football club. There was another thought behind it, with Roman Abramovich. But if you look now: you can’t really identify with that, can you? It seems like a business model; it’s just making money.”