Chelsea, who are expected to announce the appointment of Guus Hiddink as their sixth manager in four years next week, have defended their revolving door policy, and claim there will be no change in the ruthless approach that saw Carlo Ancelotti sacked just 12 months after delivering the Premier League and FA Cup Double.
Chelsea are negotiating the release of Hiddink from his contract as manager of Turkey, and it is understood a deal has been reached barring a few legal formalities. The 64-year-old Dutchman will be taking charge for the second time, having won the FA Cup during a three-month stint in 2009 when he combined the role with his other job as coach of Russia.
Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari have also been sacked by Roman Abramovich since the summer of 2007, making the Chelsea post the most unstable job in English football.
Chief executive Ron Gourlay has defended the club's hire-and-fire policy while on a commercial trip to the Far East, saying the amount of trophies won in recent years backs up the decisions made.
Gourlay said: "Continuity is very important but so is performance and results. Our model may not be the model others agree with but, at the end of the day, we've taken the decisions we needed to take to develop Chelsea Football Club and we've won 10 major trophies in the last six years [including the Community Shield]."
Chelsea finished second last year in the League, and were eliminated by Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, in what was the worst season since Abramovich bought the club for £140m in 2003. Gourlay was widely criticised for sacking Ancelotti an hour after playing Everton at the end of the season, in a corridor at Goodison Park, but the chief executive said it was part of the club's "strategy".
He said: "Unfortunately, we just left ourselves at the end with too much to do. The expectation was so high after winning the Double [in 2010], our most successful year, so it was a disappointing season but we must not change our strategy."
Chelsea hope to confirm the appointment of Hiddink next week, and will continue their pursuit of transfer targets Luka Modric of Tottenham Hotspur, Neymar of Santos, and Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea's £22m bid for Modric was this week turned down by Spurs, who insist the playmaker is not for sale. Chelsea, however, will return with an improved offer, expected to be around £25m, in the next seven days.
The club will also make another offer for the Brazilian teenager Neymar, who they bid £30m for 12 months ago. Chelsea would like to tie up a deal for the highly regarded 19-year-old before the Copa America starts on 1 July, but face competition from Real Madrid.
Reports from France yesterday claimed Chelsea have offered their former midfielder Claude Makelele a job as an advisor on player recruitment.