‘ So far as I know, absolutely not’ – Chelsea Chairman, Bruce Buck denies that Roman Abramovich has any intention to sell the club

Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck has quashed rumours that Roman Abramovich wants to sell the West-London club. The Russian has owned Chelsea since buying the club in 2003.

Rumours started to circulate after the 52-year-old withdrew his visa application last year. The Russian Billionaire was unhappy the process was taking too long, amid problems between the UK and Russia after the Novichok poisoning of a former Russian spy.

Talking exclusively to The Guardian, Buck was honest in how things are going for Chelsea off the pitch. The Blues’ chairman admitted the club have had inquiries regarding a sale, but Abramovich has not encouraged it in any way. Buck said:

“So far as I know, absolutely not”. “Because of the political situation, there are people who think they might want to buy Chelsea football club at a bargain. We do get inquiries and we really have nothing to say to these people”.

Despite not attending a game at Stamford Bridge since last year, Buck revealed Abramovich is still very much involved in the running of the club, speaking regularly to club director, Marina Granovskaia.

“He talks to Marina several times a day, every day. Marina has been doing that for seven or eight years; that hasn’t let up or changed at all”.

Abramovich did have plans in place to rebuild Stamford Bridge. A capacity of 60k was seen as a much needed expansion on the club’s current full house of  just short of 41k. Other sites had been looked at, but ultimately the chance to remain at the club’s spiritual home was well received by fans. However, these plans were put on hold, with the club stating the current financial climate as the reason for not continuing. This has led to suggestions Abramovich has little interest in the club these days. Buck dispelled these suggestions by saying:

“I understand what you are saying and it is hard to disprove it, except to say: ‘Let’s see what happens in the next transfer window.’ The point I am making – it’s a glib one – if we go out in the next window and spend a zillion, it’s pretty hard to argue that things are on hold”.

Buck also spoke of how the transfer ban currently imposed on the club has affected the club. Chelsea are waiting for the judgement on an appeal made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Buck said:

“The transfer ban has led to more opportunities for the young players, I can’t deny that if there wasn’t a transfer ban we might have splurged out on one or two or three players”.

However, Buck was keen to add how impressed Abramovich is with the young players that come through the clubs academy.

“It makes Mr Abramovich very happy, because he is very interested in the academy. I would guess he’s one of the very few owners that have been to lots of academy matches”.

Chelsea have a lot to thank Roman Abramovich for. His takeover turned The Blues from a top-six club, picking up domestic trophies, to one of the best in Europe.

 


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