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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Happy Birthday Roman Abramovich, The Man Who Transformed Chelsea.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich celebrates his 51st birthday today as the Blues prepare for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup clash with Everton.
In his 14 years at the club, Chelsea fans have enjoyed unprecedented success and seen their club transform into one of the biggest in the world.
Last season saw the Blues reach the summit once more as
Antonio Conte’s men claimed another Premier League title.
Here we take a look at the man who came from nowhere to shock the world and change football forever.
“He’ll get bored” they said. “He’ll leave after a couple of seasons” they said. And yet Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s owner, is still here, having presided over another trophy-winning season at the club.
Since Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea in July 2003 – to both the consternation and delight of Chelsea supporters who were faced with the very real prospect of their club going in to financial meltdown – the club have won five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League.
Many opposition supporters unfairly suggest that Abramovich’s arrival marked the beginning of Chelsea’s history, in fact the club had won the League title once in 1955, FA Cups in 1970, 1997 and 2000, the League Cup in 1965 and 1998, the European Cup Winners Cup in 1971 and 1998 and the European Super Cup in 1998. The first of those European trophies being won before that great historical club, Liverpool, had won a European trophy.
That said, one cannot deny the seismic impact that Roman Abramovich has had not just on Chelsea and their ever bulging trophy cabinet, but football in England as a whole.
At a time when we can reflect on the staggering amount of trophies won in the Roman era and when we cast a look in the direction of rivals whose owners have frankly ruined their clubs, I wonder whether we give Roman Abramovich the praise he deserves.
Much of this season’s narrative has been taken up with the rancour between Arsenal supporters and Arsene Wenger . While one can understand Arsenal supporters’ frustration with Wenger’s inability to deliver the Premier League title recently or the Champions League, I am amazed that their opprobrium has not been directed at the owners.
Arsenal’s majority shareholder is American sports mogul Stan Kroenke , a man who owns a string of what the Americans like to call ‘sports franchises’.
His interest in Arsenal appears to be purely financial and one can surmise that he has been perfectly happy that Wenger perennially delivers a healthy profit by finishing fourth in the league and in the last 16 of the Champions League.
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