One can only imagine the reaction of Roman Abramovich when he heard the news that Pep Guardiola had been named as the next manager of Bayern Munich.
Some imagine him stalking around a room as he is told and, when it finally sinks in, him flying into a rage. Perhaps throwing Fabergé eggs against a wall and deciding to buy some more attacking midfielders.
I don't see that. I see him sitting quietly in a darkened room with television screens flickering around him. As his terrified interlocutor informs him of the news he nods sagely for a moment before crossing the name ''Guardiola'' off a list of names in front of him.
Imagine the sting of the name Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich of all clubs! The club that his interim manager - a club hero who has already been given his jotters - vanquished, on home turf, in last year's Champions League Final. Sensible Bayern Munich run by sensible men in a sensible league. Everything that Abramovich's Chelsea are not. Moreover, it will be read as a longer term rejection of the West London club. This will be viewed as Guardiola setting himself up for the Manchester United job in due course even if that isn't the case and he intends to build a dynasty in Bavaria.
This will hurt Abramovich. This is a very public slap in the face. He will seethe. He will brood. There will be recriminations. There will be bitter retribution. The best laid plans of mice and men
It is true, particularly since the arrival of Rafael Benitez, that more Chelsea fans have plotted and conspired against their resident plutocrat. Abramovich may not understand - he will point to the titles, the glory, the trophies - and ask what more Chelsea want. It seems that Chelsea fans understand that success is not the be all and end all. Clubs matter and the trophies are merely a part of it.
Chelsea fans have seen promising young managers come and go. They have seen titans of the game crushed. They've seen club heroes treated with utter disdain. As Gary Neville points out there is almost no one left to manage Chelsea.
There is no point rehashing the debates about Benitez. Both sides are in their trenches and are in for the long-haul. He is, however, a fine manager and one of the few big beasts of the footballing world who met the criteria of Chelsea - he was available, decent enough and wanted the job.
If Benitez doesn't get the Chelsea job at the end of the season where does Abramovich turn? He has reached the stage where there are two groups of managers in the world - those he has already sacked and those he will no doubt sack in due course. He is going to be selecting from an ever smaller pool of potential candidates.
In the latter category, there are those who would not touch the Chelsea job with a bargepole (Ferguson, Wenger, Moyes) and those who may decide that taking it is a foolproof ploy. Those in the latter category may decide to take the job and spend the riches of the Russian because they know, ultimately, that any failure at Chelsea - or any sacking at Chelsea - will not be viewed in the same way as failure elsewhere would be judged. One might cruelly call this ''The Villas-Boas Approach''.
Managers such as Klopp, de Boer or Deschamps may decide that Chelsea is a stepping stone to somewhere they want to be. It is rather sad that the European Champions - a club blessed with such players as Hazard, Oscar and Mata - are viewed in those terms.
We all know that Abramovich's approach is admirable but fundamentally naive and contradictory. He wants his team to win trophies and to dominate football. Moreover, he wants them to win playing the game beautifully and he wants them to do it now. Liverpool and Arsenal fans talk about transition. Even Manchester United used to talk in those terms. The concept is something that Abramovich refuses to engage with or even acknowledge the existence of. Indeed, he may well point to the trophies won in his reign and the trophies won at the Emirates and ask what exactly does stability get you?
The problem with Abramovich is he his Chelsea is a quixotic project and he is quixotic man. He wants his teams to play like Barcelona, win trophies like Barcelona but they must do so without the playing personnel and without time to build and hone the team. Guardiola at Barcelona and now Vilanova never needed to consistently play a footballer who was out of form to appease their owner. Chelsea's managers are asked to turn water into wine and to do it damn quickly. Moreover, with the albatross that is Fernando Torres almost a permanent feature in the team, they aren't even given grapes to help them.
Few will feel sorry for Benitez. He knew who he was getting into bed with and he can't really complain if there are crumbs between the sheets. Few will have sympathy for Chelsea fans - they may moan but they watch fine players often winning tournaments. There are, however, lessons here for all of us.
In recent months, Chelsea fans have become more vocal in their criticism of goings on at the club. Most of this ire has been focused on Benitez but increasingly it has turned to the man who has turned the club from the sleeping giant of the English game into one of its major forces.
One wonders if he will ever be happy with Chelsea. It may be that no manager will slake his desire. That no one will be able to build this footballing Jerusalem that he seems to believe in. And if they cannot, how long will he stay? And if he goes, what becomes of Chelsea?