No one seemed to know who Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich was when it was announced that the Russian billionaire had bought Chelsea FC in 2003.
He was young, publicity shy, a governor of a faraway, frozen province in Russia and had made a lot of money in oil and gas. He gave one interview, to the BBC, saying that he had wanted to buy a football club, essentially, because he was bored and wanted a new challenge.
Chelsea wasn’t his first choice. Pini Zahavi, the Israeli super agent and fixer, had offered a number of options: Portsmouth FC was mentioned, as was Manchester United. But Chelsea offered something attractive. For one, the club was in London, which Abramovich had made his second home amongst the wealthy Russian elite. Chelsea was also in dire financial straits.
Charting his time at Chelsea, we look at what Abramovich has achieved at Chelsea and what the potential reasonings behind his purchase of the club were.
We take a look at the controversial owner of Arsenal, Stan Kroenke.2
James Montague details the history of Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich.3
Thaksin Shinawatra bought Manchester City in 2007, and was forever surrounded in controversy.4
The purchase of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan introduced the game to its first trillionaires.5
Author of The Billionaires Club James Montague joins Joe to discuss his latest book in more detail.