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Anorak | Roman Abramovich ‘only bought Chelsea to protect himself from Putin and exploit the game’ (video)

Roman Abramovich ‘only bought Chelsea to protect himself from Putin and exploit the game’ (video)

by | 2nd, July 2013

Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich greets the home supporters before their FA Premiership match against Leicester City at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground in London.  30/01/04: The Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea soccer club, will face checks by Russia's highest auditing body starting next month, its chief said in Moscow today.  07/03/04: Roman Abramovich is the UK's richest person with a family fortune almost seven times that of the Queen, according to a new report. The Russian's   7.2 billion wealth puts him top of the Mail on Sunday Rich Report 2004, ahead of Tetrapak billionaire Hans Rausing and the Duke of Westminster. The report includes the 300 richest UK-based men and women whose combined wealth comes to  147.3 billion - up 28% on a year ago. The Rich Report magazine team spent two months researching the Abramovich assets. THIS PICTURE CAN ONLY BE USED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF AN EDITORIAL FEATURE. NO WEBSITE/INTERNET USE UNLESS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE.

TIMES journalist and former table-tennis champ Matthew Syed is talking about Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to Sky Sports News. Sayed shows us why journalists and not ex-pros make the best pundits. Syed tonks  Roman Abramovich’s tenure as Chelsea with the bare facts. Tony Cascarino, who also writes for the Times, says Abramovich has been “a huge success for the Premier League” . How? By winning the Premier League for Chelsea?

Abramovich has been a huge success for Chelsea. That much is certain.

What’s he done for the game?

Football has responded to Abramovich by setting up the Financial Fair Play rule – the demand that clubs break even.  It’s not the fear of debt that makes Uefa act. If it was, why didn’t it act after Leeds United and Lazio’s big-spending ways blew up in their faces? And what of Real Madrid, the club that lived on the never-never for years? It’s the fear of billioanaires that makes the new rule.  And it’s a rule that Chelsea voted for. Never again should a club of mid-table mediocrity and near bankruptcy become so formidable on the cash of a very rich man.

This is what Syed wrote about Abramovich:

But the real game is one in which Chelsea, with their players, managers and assorted staff, are just a pawn. It is a game that started in the 1990s during the chaos that followed the ending of the Soviet empire, continued through the brutality of the power vacuum and culminated in a coterie of men owning billions of pounds of state assets while the great mass of the Russian people came close to starvation.

Abramovich claims in mitigation that, to quote his lawyer “that was how business was done in Russia at the time”. He is right. But only a small group of men were ever allowed to play.

Here’s the clip:

 



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