+ Buying a billion – with the help of “Sphenes”
Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC for 1.8 billion Swedish kronor in 2003 from then-unpopular owner Ken Bates. After that, the club had debts of just over a billion kroner and they would have finished last in the Champions League next season. Abramovich was the first of his kind in many ways. The fact that a foreign billionaire bought a football club in England was not uncommon, but something that would become a recipe for success for both Chelsea and other clubs.
It is said that Abramovich has been looking to buy a football club for a long time. When he decided to buy an English club, he hired the former England captain, Sven-Goran Eriksson. And according to “Svens”, the choice was between Chelsea and his London rival, Tottenham.
– I said ‘If you want to win the league, you have to choose Chelsea – because then you only have to replace half the team.’ “The Swede said, according to the British Daily Mirror, that if he had chosen Tottenham, he might have had to replace the whole.
+ Immediate success
Abramovich already spent a lot of money in the first transfer window by bringing in players like French midfielder Claude Makelele. Money is no longer an issue for the club, which finished second in the league during Abramovich’s first season. But in the summer of 2004, the recruitment of real stars began. Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben and Peter Cech all came to Stamford Bridge before Arbamovic closed his wallet that summer. The success was instant. Chelsea, with their star-studded squad, won the league in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Then Chelsea got the somewhat unpleasant nickname “Buy Team”. For Abramovich, the financial success of the club seemed secondary, the most important thing was winning titles.
Since then, they have won the league three more times and also have two Champions League titles.
After Roman Abramovich and Chelsea reaped great success, many clubs followed. Sheikh Mansour took over management of Manchester City in 2008 and in 2011 the Qatari government investment fund led by Nasser Al-Khelaifi took over Paris Saint-Germain. The buying habits of wealthy clubs eventually forced FIFA financial regulations to play fair, which in short means that clubs should not waste more money than they actually earn. But Abramovich also had a plan for that. During his years at the club, the Russian equipped the club’s academy, which meant that it was possible to sell many young talents to make room for prestigious recruits. When the pandemic hit and regulations were halted due to the clubs’ poor finances, Abramovich put on his sacked pants again. Then Chelsea won the Champions League again in 2021.
+ carousel training
Roman Abramovich was famous for his impatience. The fact that he cares less about the club’s financial success, but rather focuses on the sport, means he was able to break contracts with the coaches once the team did not perform. Since taking office, the club has had 13 different coaches, and no one has stayed more than three years at a time.
Some of the coaches who led the team are: Carlo Ancelotti (one year and ten months), Antonio Conte (two years), Andre Villas Boa (eight months) and Jose Mourinho, who is the only one who has returned for the second stay. . (Three years, two months, and two years and six months).
+ slow farewell
When Russia invaded Ukraine, Britain was quick to warn of impending sanctions on Russians linked to Vladimir Putin. Abramovich, who has been very restrictive about his statements, wrote on Chelsea’s website that he is handing control of the club so that the penalties imposed on him do not extend to football. He later confirmed that he intended to sell Chelsea without claiming the loans he had given the club. When sanctions come into effect now, the club cannot be sold.
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