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Bruce Buck interview


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http://www.chelseafc.com/page/NewsHomeP ... 75,00.html

How did Roman take the defeat when we were beaten in the FA Cup and the Carling Cup?

I don't think his reaction was any different from your reaction or my reaction, I mean I was very disappointed, I was sad, I was unhappy. But I think there are a lot of stories that Roman called crisis meetings and was very upset and ranting and raving in the dressing room, that's total rubbish, it was all untrue. He was unhappy like all Chelsea fans were unhappy.

Will Avram Grant be manager next season?

I think it is a yes or no question and I am not going to give you a yes or no answer. But let me give you a perspective on it. In September, when José left and Avram came on board, I think the board and Roman did not expect that we would be sitting here today as a semi-finalist in the Champions League and three points off the top of the Premier League.

We thought that when you change managers, you have to have some re-building. So we are unbelievably happy that we are here, where we are now. We would have wished that we would have beaten Barnsley and Tottenham and whatever, but I think we are reasonably happy with where we are now. Avram has a multi-year contract and he's our manager. Having said that, and I don't want you to take this the wrong way, every manager, at every club, is judged by results. That's the name of the game, results, and right now Avram's results are very, very good, so he's our manager.

To be honest, I was annoyed during the Arsenal match when some people in the North Stand were singing 'You don't know what you're doing' and were singing José's name. My perspective is, and I mean I haven't been a Chelsea fan for as long as some of you people have, maybe since 1989, 1990, but, to me, you're either a Chelsea fan or you're not, and in the middle of what was one of the most important games of the season, I don't think you do something which could theoretically unsettle your team. To me that doesn't make sense and to me that's not a Chelsea fan. So Avram has also had to deal with that kind of thing, which I personally thought was inappropriate.

Is Roman happy and satisfied with the style of football we are playing at the moment?

I don't think that Roman or the board or anyone that is involved in this process thought that the style of football would change over night. You're a footballer and I think you know that just doesn't happen, players have a certain approach and attitude engrained in them and it's very difficult for them to change. But, having said that, during the course of the last nine months I think we have seen some examples of stylish, entertaining, fun football and would expect to see more of that as time progresses. We never thought this was going to be an overnight change. So is Roman? No. But did he expect to be happy and satisfied at this point that everything was going to be entertaining, fun football? No to that also.

You can look at last night's match and it is still fresh in our minds, and everyone is still talking about last night's match, and I am not an expert on football, I am just a fan, but I thought the in first 15-20 minutes we looked really good. We got the early goal and what we haven't been able to do since we got the early goal is to early on get that killer second goal and kill out the game. So we were on tender hooks for 90 minutes. That's football, but we are the semi-final of the Champions League, so I'm not moaning about it.

I think it is much different that Chelsea's second leg against Liverpool is at home and I think we are going to do it this time. I think if you look at last year when we had the home match when Joe scored that goal, we should have maybe had four or five that night. We were fantastic. Then we went to Liverpool, and we played very well at Liverpool and then the penalty shoot-out. The previous year, as José told us, there was a phantom goal. But I think we are going to do it this year.

What is your working relationship with Roman like?

It's a good relationship. There are really four of us involved in all these decisions, Peter, Eugene Tenenbaum, who has been with Roman for 20 years, and myself, I have worked with Roman since the mid-nineties and obviously he owns the club and the final decision is his. I don't want to mislead you in any respect, that's the nature of when you own something you have the final decision.

But as a practical matter, he listens to our advice and we have good discussion. He is willing to discuss things and there are also things he just doesn't get involved in. So I would say we have a good relationship and also with the next level of management at the club. I think we all get along very well.

What assurance has Roman made that he will be involved with the club for years to come?

Well, first of all, he is committed to the long term. I don't know exactly what that means, and he doesn't know exactly what that means. He bought the club, he loves the club, he's a Chelsea fan, he's here as long as any of you are. I don't know exactly what that means, but he is here for the long term. He has put a lot of money into the club, I think the papers have reported it is something like £500 million and I guess I would say no matter how rich you are, no matter how much money you have, you will notice when you invest £500 million into something. So it is not like something he will walk away from and say he is not interested anymore.

Tell us about the first season that José was here where success came instantly.

I was at the press conference when José was introduced. I had probably met him three, four, five times before that in sessions when we were deciding who the next manager will be and on his own, in a press conference in a group like this and he blurts out 'I am not from a bottle I am a special one' and the rest is history.

Why did he go? Well, the relationship between José and the board had broken down, from a business perspective, and we decided, and he was in accord with this, that we should separate ways. Having said that, we are not writing José Mourinho out of the history books, like we are with Mr Bates maybe!

But seriously, we all have the highest regard for José.

Isn't football a sport not a business?

That's a fair point, but I think, in a certain respect also, that you are living in the past. It is actually a big business and if we weren't conducting business, we wouldn't be able to buy the players and do the things we do so that we can all watch Chelsea Football Club. It's just a fact of life.

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from what ive heard, bruce buck is far from being a soul-less suit. he was a chelsea season ticket holder well before roman turned up, and got involved through roman using the company he works for.

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Isn't football a sport not a business?

That's a fair point, but I think, in a certain respect also, that you are living in the past. It is actually a big business and if we weren't conducting business, we wouldn't be able to buy the players and do the things we do so that we can all watch Chelsea Football Club. It's just a fact of life.

Next question should have been....

In that case, as a professional, how do you feel about working for a business that hasn't registered any profits for eons and manages to exist only through the benevolance of Roman? Don't you feel like a bit of a fraud?

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