Chelsea, where coaches drown

I doubt whether Mr. Roman Abramovich is ever going to have more sense than money. He wishes Chelsea to win the Champions Cup and each season when his ambition is frustrated — even though his cash has bought some of the greatest players on the planet — he sacks one of the greatest managers on the same planet, men fit to coach a Universe XI to play Interplanetary United in front of the Queen in her parlour. Over to Ted Corbett.

So what have we learnt at the end of a football season that seemed to go on forever and a day?

Only that the people who run the game are as bewilderingly, blindly, sickeningly stupid as ever. Just as they were when I first began to tell people how it was in sport around 1960.

The Rugby League was full of smashing down to earth people some of whom were fit to organise a scouts raffle but most of whom, after a successful business career, were unfit to set up a market stall.

In those days I used to dream that soccer, cricket, horse racing and tiddly winks were all more efficiently organised but by the time I retired nearly 50 years later I recognised that a man who makes a million from steel or beer or selling stocks and shares loses all his marbles as soon as he takes a first step into sport.

(Just before I quit I told my pal in the press box I had only one ambition left. “I won't die happy unless I have more money than sense and I don't care how that comes about,” I said. Well, we had a good chuckle over that seeing that a lifetime investing in bingo, the Lotto, the football pools and the determination of horses has availed me nothing except grief. I keep trying.)

Mr. Roman Abramovich has achieved my target with something to spare. He owns Chelsea by dint of spending the loose change in his trouser pocket or a few dollars he found in an old wallet but he is not content. Every time I read about him he is ready to devote several millions on a new home or a yacht or a flying machine and the rumour is that he has billions whether you are talking rupees, roubles, dollars or pounds.

You can tell he is well off. He is as thin as a matchstick, watches football in the most casual gear imaginable and even though he spent several hundred million when he traded in his first wife for a younger model he has never, as far as I can see, taken either lady to watch Chelsea. Of course wives have cooking, ironing and child minding to take care of although I have my doubts about how much time a Mrs. Abramovich spends in the kitchen.

Now I doubt whether Mr. RA is ever going to have more sense than money. He wishes Chelsea to win the Champions Cup and each season when his ambition is frustrated — even though his cash has bought some of the greatest players on the planet — he sacks one of the greatest managers on the same planet, men fit to coach a Universe XI to play Interplanetary United in front of the Queen in her parlour.

His latest choice is Gus Huddink. Watch your back Gus.

Not content with these bits of stupidity — remember Manchester United have great teams mainly because they have kept Sir Alex Ferguson for 20 years that have brought 19 awards of various sorts — Chelsea's Czar crowned his performance this year by paying £70 million for Fernando Torres at the only time in his career when Torres was hardly worth 70p.

Chelsea's boss Carlo Ancelotti apparently did not want him, but, hey what choice did he have but to select the chief's new toy. Torres scored just one goal in the remaining half season but no-one was surprised — except Abramovich.

Twenty minutes after the final game of the season that promised so much and produced second place in the Premier League Ancelotti was fired and as I write everyone except me, Geoff Boycott's butler and Herr Sepp Blatter has been tipped as his successor.

Talking of Herr Blatter; what has he been up to this year? It is said he has a lot of money too and if he thinks that playing the World Cup in 2022 in the Gulf state of Qatar is a good idea — before global warming the temperatures there hit 50C all the time — he cannot be entirely sensible.

We will not go into all the other issues surrounding his stewardship of FIFA, the soccer world governing body. Sensibly, I still need to steer clear of the libel courts.

I wish it might be otherwise. I was fascinated by the recent Champions League final because I was convinced that Barcelona were the greatest side I had ever seen but to make a few billion from that belief needed original thinking since my old enemies the bookmakers were clearly also impressed by Barcelona.

However I did believe I had found a way of making a few shillings. I staked a tiny part of my pension on a 4-1 victory by Barcelona and got pretty annoyed when they missed a simple chance to score late in the game. Fancy only being able to beat Manchester United, at Wembley, by 3-1 and incidentally being so quick and decisive that they convinced that great midfield playmaker Paul Scholes it was time, aged 37, to retire.

There is proof of Scholes' skill, as related by Ferguson. In training Scholes saw that a team-mate had gone to the edge of the field to deal with nature's needs and, from 40 yards away, struck a ball so perfectly that hit his mate fair and square on the backside. Well, it impressed Sir Alex anyway.

In common with nearly every other Premier League star, Scholes also has a few bob in the bank but I am glad that he has a sense of humour too.