London (AFP) – Chelsea’s owners insist they remain committed and optimistic about the future under new manager Mauricio Pochettino after a disastrous season for the Premier League club.
The consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly and US-based Clearlake Capital has endured a torrid first year in charge, sacking managers Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter before a miserable end to the campaign under interim boss Frank Lampard.
Chelsea’s 12th-place finish was their worst since 1994 despite a spend of more than £500 million ($624 million) on new players in the new owners’ first two transfer windows.
Former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino was hired last week with the task of reviving the troubled club, who won the Champions League under Tuchel just two years ago.
“It’s been just over a year since we completed our purchase of Chelsea,” the owners said in an open letter published on Thursday.
“It was and remains a privilege for us to be custodians of our wonderful club.”
They added: “Our promise to you was to make our fans proud. We remain completely committed to the long-term and sustainable success of our club and fulfilling that promise we made to you.
“We know the huge potential we must grow to develop Chelsea FC and it is a role we take seriously. Everybody working here is relentlessly focused on driving us forward.”
The owners admitted that it had been a “disappointing” season for the men’s team, who failed to win a trophy for only the second time since 2016, saying “there is a lot we can and will do better”.
They added: “For all the challenges of the past year, we are optimistic about the future.”
The owners praised the women’s team, who won a fourth straight Women’s Super League title.
“Our women’s team has celebrated another astonishing season, winning the double with an unprecedented fourth successive WSL title and third successive FA Cup,” they said.
“There are not enough positive things to say about (manager) Emma Hayes, her backroom staff, and squad who have dealt with adversity, injury and Emma’s period of absence.
“Their character and hunger to win is second to none.”