Rafael Benitez reveals he is YET to meet or speak to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Joining Benitez at Stamford Bridge will be former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Boudewijn Zenden as well as coaches Paco de Miguel and Xavi Valero

Rafael Benitez revealed tonight he had not met Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, before his unveiling as manager. Benitez said he had not even spoken to the man who has removed seven managers in eight years, but said it would be “easier” at Chelsea than working for two owners at Liverpool.

“I will meet [Abramovich] today,” Benitez said this evening. “The main thing is that I have spoken to Michael Emenalo, the technical director, and he is my link. I like to speak about football with him. That’s my priority. My agent was doing his job. I was focusing on other things.”

Benitez’s tenure at Liverpool was dominated by politics, particularly regarding the club’s two feuding American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Benitez said working for one all-powerful owner would be easier than his situation at Anfield

“It was a difficult time, but still we were performing,” Benitez remembered of his time at Liverpool. “Now you have a different situation and it will be easier. If you have two bosses who aren’t talking to each other, it’s difficult. You want a striker and one of them says: ‘I don’t know.’ This will be easier.”

“You saw how we were performing even with all these problems. Here you don’t have two owners who aren’t talking to each other. You have an owner, a technical director and good staff, so for me maybe it’s easier.”

Benitez would not comment on the news that Mark Clattenburg had been cleared following accusations of racial abuse. Prospect, the referees’ union, called for an apology, compensation and a charity donation from Chelsea. “I want to concentrate on football issues if I can,” Benitez said.

The Spaniard hopes he will forge a good working relationship with Abramovich. “Hopefully I will see the owner and talk about things,” he said. “The info I have from different people is that he likes to see his team playing good football, but he’s not involved every day, telling the manager to do this or that. He just wants to see the team playing well.”

Joining Benitez at Stamford Bridge will be former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Boudewijn Zenden as well as coaches Paco de Miguel and Xavi Valero. “I will not change too much because, when I spoke with Emenalo, we knew they had some good coaches with the staff here,” he said. “I will bring some people who will be easier for me. I chose Zenden because he was my player, he worked here for three years and knows the environment. You don’t want to waste time getting to know things.”

Although Benitez is only the interim manager, with a contract until the end of the season, he said his future was in his hands if he was successful. “If I do well and win trophies, I’d be really happy and then we will see,” he said. “At this moment I’m here. I got the job. This is very simple: winning games. Winning games is a guarantee for everything. If you can do it in a row, you can win trophies.”

The appointment of Benitez was unpopular with some Chelsea fans given comments made in the past. Benitez defended his comments, saying they were natural. “We were playing against Chelsea, a top side, in the semi-finals of the Champions League,” he said. “If I’m a fan, I’d like to see my manager fighting for my team, my club, and doing almost everything. So I don’t think it’s a lack of respect for the Chelsea fans. It’s more a manager defending his team. I’m sure the fans here would like to see me doing the same now that I am here, defending their club.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power