Roman Abramovich Looking at Long-Term Options for Chelsea?
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An interesting snippet was sent my way by a Chelsea-supporting friend which makes me wonder what the future will hold for the boys from the posh part of London.
According to my friend, who is not known for being too far off the mark, Roman Abramovich is seriously looking at whether he can commit in the long term to Chelsea.
The plan may well be to sell the club to someone more willing to spend big on a London club in dire need of investment.
There are some very serious challenges to Chelsea that can only be taken on fully with some hefty cash injections, and it seems that perhaps Roman wants to keep his money in the bank.
These decisions are not only about players, of course, although that is a not inconsiderable financial requirement in the next five years. Some estimate the cost of building a competitive squad will be as much as £150m, and with the newcomers to the top four scene of Manchester City and Tottenham, there is no guarantee of Champions League and the £60m revenues that can come with qualification.
The real issue comes with the need to get more bums on seats and cash through the club, and that means a new ground.
The cost of getting into a new home could be a minimum of £400m and take many years yet, but for each season that Chelsea stay at Stamford Bridge, it costs millions in lost revenue and means that Roman has to prop the club up from his own funds.
Will Roman Abramovich sell Chelsea?
That is something that he has apparently lost the appetite to do and suggests the gloss has come off owning the club.
It seems that a man who happily spends hundreds of millions of dollars on yachts and quite happily spends several millions on a New Year's Eve party is having doubts about spending too much on his football team.
It will become a lot clearer in the next nine months as the reality of UEFA Financial Fair Play hits home.
If there are no plans in place to make the investment in a new stadium (allowed under FFPR, of course) by next season, then it may well be that Chelsea could for sale.
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