Roman Abramovich

Andrew Hill

Roberto Di Matteo. Image by Getty

Chief executives who fret about the short-termist demands of their companies’ shareholders should spare a thought for Roberto Di Matteo, ditched as manager of Chelsea Football Club on Wednesday.

Football is a funny old management game, of course, but Chelsea’s capricious owner Roman Abramovich embodies a combination of short-termism, short temper and short-term memory loss that is extreme even in that curious world.

True, Mr Di Matteo had just overseen Chelsea’s defeat in the Champions’ League on Tuesday night to Italy’s Juventus, which puts the London club in danger of an early exit from Europe’s most prestigious club competition. But Mr Di Matteo is also the man who, having taken over only weeks earlier from the last hapless Chelsea manager, led the club to (admittedly unexpected) victory in the same tournament in May. Read more

John Gapper

For connoisseurs of acerbic rulings by judges – I still remember fondly the evisceration of Conrad Black by Leo Strine, chancellor of the Delaware chancery court, as “unreliable and evasive” – this is a red letter day.

Mrs Justice Gloster’s description of the evidence of Boris Berezovsky in his losing case against Roman Abramovich is worth savouring in full. And so, from today’s ruling, paragraph 34, here is is: Read more