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Russian businessman buys Chelsea

Published: Wednesday 2 July 2003, 0.53CET
English Premiership club Chelsea FC have been sold to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.

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Published: Wednesday 2 July 2003, 0.53CET

Russian businessman buys Chelsea

English Premiership club Chelsea FC have been sold to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.
English Premiership club Chelsea FC, twice winners of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, have been sold to 36-year-old Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. Abramovich agreed with Chelsea chairman Ken Bates to buy more than half the shares of Chelsea Village - the company that owns the London club - in a deal which values it at around €85m.
 
'One of the top clubs in Europe'
"We are delighted to agree this deal to acquire what is already one of the top clubs in Europe," Abramovich said. Chelsea will enter next season's UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round. "We have the resources and ambition to achieve even more given the huge potential of this great club," he added.

'Great deal'
"This is a great deal for Chelsea Village, the club and its fans," Bates said in a statement. "We have achieved an enormous amount over the past 21 years, building a fantastic new stadium and a talented team which is firmly established as one of the top clubs in Europe."
 
Elected to parliament
Abramovich, a major shareholder in Russian oil company Sibneft, has a law degree from the Moscow State Law Academy and was elected to the lower house of the Russian parliament in 1999.

Third qualifying round
Losses at Chelsea almost trebled in the first six months of the financial year to the end of December 2002. They finished fourth in the Premiership last season to clinch the final Champions League qualifying berth behind Newcastle United FC, Arsenal FC and English champions Manchester United FC.
 
Cup Winners' Cup triumphs
Chelsea first won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971, beating Real Madrid CF 2-1 in Athens after a replay. They won it again in 1998, beating VfB Stuttgart 1-0 in Stockholm and followed it up by beating Madrid once again to clinch that year's UEFA Super Cup.

Last updated: 02/07/03 15.07CET

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