Gronkjaer lifts lid on first days of Abramovich Chelsea empire
FC Copenhagen veteran Jesper Gronkjaer has recalled the first days of Roman Abramovich's takeover of Chelsea.
Abramovich came in with his £140 million offer in 2004.
"I was on holiday in Denmark in my summer house when I heard about the takeover. I didn't imagine he (Abramovich) would have so much money and everything would change. No one did," Gronkjaer told the Independent.
"I remember on the second day of pre-season Abramovich turned up at the training ground and spoke to us in Russian, with someone translating. There were rumours about everything - new coach, new players, new training ground, new stadium. He wanted us all to calm down. It was a stressful period for everyone, and the players had mixed feelings. Most of the players were worrying about their own situations, would they stay or go?
"We went on pre-season tour and new players were arriving all the time, which was funny. One day Wayne Bridge would arrive and someone would leave, the next day Damien Duff turned up, then Geremi, Joe Cole, Veron. He bought a whole new team in a few weeks."
To add to the surreal nature of that season, Abramovich took to sitting in the dressing room after games, saying nothing, just taking it all in.
"I don't know if he could understand but he would just sit there, like one of the boys," Gronkjaer said.