The Daily Mail says Avram Grant is not the only member of staff under threat and it is understood that a number of key personnel have effectively been placed on trial until the end of the season.

Abramovich told close friends as recently as last week that he had made errors in a number of crucial areas at the club and has taken full responsibility for their current plight.

It is understood that the last straw for Abramovich was the dismal 0-0 draw with Olympiacos in the Champions League last week.

Highly rated first-team coach Brendan Rogers is in line for a more influential role. Chelsea's stars claim he is 'outstanding'.