Chelsea fans must trust in Abramovich

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Chelsea are a club in transition and Roman Abramovich's leadership credentials will be put to the test regarding matters both on and off the pitch in the coming months.

In little under four weeks, the Blues could find themselves out of the two competitions they most harboured ambitions of winning this season, while their FA Cup hopes could be ended this weekend.

When Andre Villas-Boas was named as Carlo Ancelotti's successor last summer, optimists hailed his arrival as the appointment of the next Jose Mourinho following a record-breaking season at Porto.

However, realists gave more consideration to the appointment, with the realisation that Villas-Boas' task was to deliver long-term goals and rejuvenate an ageing Chelsea squad.

But, just seven months into his reign, the 34-year-old is already facing a mini-mutiny from his senior players, although he professes to have the full backing of the Chelsea owner.

Villas-Boas talks very much of the three-year 'project' he has mapped out and, it would seem, Abramovich will allow the Portuguese to continue the job he has started into next season at least.

But this transitional period will focus on matters perhaps far greater than those on the pitch as Abramovich continues to explore the possibility of Chelsea leaving Stamford Bridge.

The Russian oligarch is continuing to move forward with plans to build a 65,000-capacity-stadium and relocate Chelsea to the site of the Earls Court exhibition centre.

However, Abramovich will have to fight off alternative plans for the 77-acre area in west London, with a proposal made suggesting the site should be given to housing developers.

According to The Guardian, agents for Abramovich have already lodged objections to these plans and have claimed that the failure to construct a stadium in Earls Court will be a significant missed opportunity.

Chelsea are also reportedly considering developing the site at Battersea Power Station, but Earls Court remains the favoured option of the club's owner.

Earls Court is less than two miles from Chelsea's current home, and the local vicinity couple with good transport links make it the most viable option for the club.

"The provision of a world-class sporting venue attracting visitors and media from across the world to Earl's Court and west Kensington should be clearly included in the [planning] principles and policies," said the club's property adviser, Stuart Robinson of agents CBRE.

"Whilst these activities are different from the shows and exhibitions that have been held in the area, such a world-class sporting facility would build in the legacy of the Earls Court 'brand' in combination with the national and international 'brand' of [Chelsea Football Club]".

There will, of course, be ructions amongst the Chelsea support with some surely unhappy at the prospect of the club leaving their home of 105 years.

But, with a current capacity of 41,000, it leaves a deficit of ticket income between the west Londoners and their main rivals, and leaves the club lagging behind Europe's elite in more ways than one.

Although it may not seem the case at the moment, these are potentially exciting times for Chelsea both on and off the field.

Blues fans should buy into the vision of their owner and, after pumping over £1 billion on the club, he deserves their unequivocal support.

Premier League

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