Why did Roman Abramovich buy Chelsea : The Russian has since become one of the most invested and passionate owners in the game
Thriving under Putin’s reign, Roman Abramovich fast emerged as one of the wealthiest man in Russia during the tailend of 1990. Well connected to his country’s president, Roman’s business deals in the oil and gas all fell into place to see him solid his place as one of Russia’s seven gargantuan tycoons.
Also, with Roman being handed over the governor’s role of Chukotka in Russia in 1999, it was clear that the Russian businessman was not going to stay limited to just the oil and gas sector. He was an ambitious man, a person with clear aspirations of leaving a global footprint.
Not a massively gregarious figure, Roman who preferred to stave the limelight off himself decided it was most prudent to invest in sports as he bid to make a name for himself on the global stage. And the Premier League in England allured to the Russian given the massive traction the league was garnering back in the onset of 2000.
Deciding to open the strings of his purse in 2003, Roman Abramovich opted to invest in Chelsea. Despite being offered one of the more well established and behemoth names in the league by his super agent and fixer in the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Portsmouth, Roman had already set his sights on the London based club.
Reason Behind Roman Taking Over Chelsea
And there were a bevy of reasons which alluded to his decision as well. Apart from already holding property in London, a place which was fast becoming a favourite as a second home amongst Russia’s wealthiest, Chelsea’s staggering debt saw the club being offered at a cheap stake price.
With the London based side failing to clear its books of a 23 million dollar debt, the club was more than willing to sell out the entirety of its share to Roman. And a deal went through between the parties in a measly 15 minutes in June 2003 with Roman initially buying out 50% of the West London club for 30 million pounds before completing a complete takeover for 140 million pounds a couple of days later.
“I was bored and wanted a new challenge,” Roman had said upon completing the deal in 2003.
Chelsea have gone onto become one of the most successful clubs in the footballing fraternity ever since. The side was named the most successful club in English football in the foregone decade with Roman’s eagerness to constantly pump in money into the club seeing the club being equipped with a wealth of resources.
Chelsea’s club director Eugene Tenebaum also opened up on Roman’s purchase of the club. Talking in 2020 about the deal, Eugene had gone onto say about Roman, “He likes to figure things out.”
“I think the reason why he loves football after all of these years is that it’s not a formula. It’ s not an algorithm. I think that is why people love it and why it is the number one sport in the world.
“People find it exhilarating because you can’t control it. There are so many factors. There are 11 players on the pitch. But there’s the coach who is critical. There’s the support staff which are critical. There’s the medical staff which are critical.
“There’s the facilities which are critical. There’s the nutrition which is critical. There’s the fans which are critical. There are people who analyse the statistics which are critical. There are so many elements in that as a business as well. Every business has many elements but I don’t think that you see that every week.”
“In football, the exciting thing is that you set the plan, you execute the plan, and then every week you have a validation or not of whether your plan is correct.
“In a business environment, you have sales figures, you have results. But in this situation, every week you have a validation or not of what your strategy is and that’s the exciting part.”
Why Roman Chose Chelsea Over Tottenham
The Athletic has also gone onto shed light on the reason which saw a deal between Roman and Tottenham at the same time fall through at the same. Despite both the parties being interested in a move, Daniel Levy was only willing to sell 29.9% of Tottenham, a decision which saw Roman direct his attention elsewhere.
The Russian was said to be interested in getting complete charge of a club, something Chelsea was willing to offer him at the moment.