How Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Made His Money

Photo via: Wikimedia Commons

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is quite possibly the timidest owner in all of sports, but he’s most certainly on the higher end when it comes to pocket depth. The Russian is responsible for changing the game on a financial front, having bankrolled some of the most lucrative spending sprees in the history of the game.

Abramovich made a huge deal of his presence in English football in 2003, letting his wallet do the talking as he set in motion the most successful period Blues fans have ever seen, also kicking off a new era in foreign ownership when it comes to the Premier League. It’s why Chelsea is one of the most successful sides in European football today and one of the many reasons they’re always among the favorites for silverware among the most reliable online sportsbooks.

The owner has put lots of his own money forward in order to fuel the club’s ambitions and, since he took over, he’s seen them win five Premier League titles, the Champions League on two occasions, plus 10 other trophies.

Valued at £12 billion by this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, Abramovich is among the wealthiest men on the planet – yet it’s not exactly clear as to how he made his money. Of course, we’re going to report what we know.

One of Roman’s first business ventures was selling rubber ducks out of his apartment after he moved to Moscow, having spent his formative years in Russia’s Komi Republic.

He formed a friendship with businessman Boris Berezovsky in the early 90s but things would sour to the point where they faced each other in the British High Court. Abramovich bought oil company Sibneft when the Soviet Union’s assets became privatized and made a fortune after selling it to Gazprom.

Most of his wealth is now tied to steel and mining company Evraz.

Unfortunately, he is not allowed in the UK after having his Visa expire. He withdrew his application in 2018 and hasn’t been seen in the country since then but his passion for the club hasn’t waned, as many thought it would. Just last year, he saw £220 million go into player purchases, bringing in Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, and Kai Havertz.

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The spending paid off handsomely, with the Blues going on to win the Champions League at the end of May under the tutelage of highly-rated head coach Thomas Tuchel. Chelsea will have to spend again this summer if they want to remain competitive but it’s not like they haven’t been trying.

The club’s top target Erling Haaland isn’t looking likely to move as Borussia Dortmund remains adamant over keeping him. The Athletic has also reported that they have not given up on bringing Romelu Lukaku back despite having two bids rejected.

“It’s a familiar script and that’s why, as every Chelsea fan knows, the club have been looking to buy a top centre-forward this summer. Most of the noise has centred on Erling Haaland and understandably so: he was identified as their first-choice target at the start of the year. But with Borussia Dortmund determined to keep him for another season, Chelsea have had to consider other options and they have been looking to woo an old flame in Romelu Lukaku,” the publication’s Simon Johnson writes.

“The Athletic understands Chelsea have made two bids for the 28-year-old so far, which is a strong signal of intent. It also provides an indication of where they now see their chances of acquiring Haaland.”

It appears Chelsea still believes they could get a deal for the Belgian forward over the line, given that they’re still intent on making offers. Although Inter has sold Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain, the Italian club still has money problems. Oaktree Capital has only offered up a fifth of the €275 million they promised to invest in the club so the wage bill issue still remains and The Athletic claims to have been told by sources that the club needs to cut it by at least 15 percent.

If they sell Lautaro Martinez, a target for Arsenal, it won’t make that much of a difference. Selling Lukaku, though, would be a much better option as he earns three times as much as his Argentinian teammate. The Belgium star has three years left on his deal and won’t be pushing for a move away from the San Siro, so it will be up to Chelsea to convince Inter to sell.

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