Mikel - Blues respect Roman

Chelsea midfielder understands that owner calls the shots

John Obi Mikel: Chelsea midfielder understands that Roman Abramovich calls the shots

Roman Abramovich: Russian billionaire took charge at Stamford Bridge in 2003

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John Obi Mikel has admitted that everyone at Chelsea is under threat of the axe from owner Roman Abramovich.

The Stamford Bridge supremo has a reputation for hiring and firing managers after dispensing with the services of Andre Villas-Boas earlier this season, just over eight months after shelling out £13million to lure him from Porto.

Interim boss Roberto di Matteo is the eighth man to take arguably the hottest seat in the Premier League since Russian billionaire Abramovich took control in West London in 2003.

And midfielder Mikel admits that the players know they could suffer the same fate as the many men who have picked the team for the Blues in recent years.

"If things are not right it is his money, his team, so he has the right to change things. And I think we all respect that."

John Obi Mikel

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But the Nigeria international insists that as Abramovich is funding the club from his vast personal fortune, he has the right to make any decisions he wants.

And he has rejected claims that Villas-Boas was forced out by player-power, amid continued suggestions that senior stars at Stamford Bridge hold too much sway.

His money

Mikel told reporters: "It has been a difficult season and you can question the owner, but he wants results and he wants to win trophies.

"If things are not right it is his money, his team, so he has the right to change things. And I think we all respect that.

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"Tomorrow, if he says he wants to get rid of us players and wants to get new ones, then we will respect him. It is his money, his business.

"Now Robbie is boss, we all have to respect this. The team comes first and whoever is playing we have to respect that as well.

"We are all together and helping each other, even from the bench. The players have all regrouped and spoken amongst ourselves.

"But there has never been player power here, I don't know where people get that from. The manager has always been in control."