Roman Abramovich admits regret at buying Chelsea

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on May 15, 2016 in London, England
Photo: Paul Gilham/GETTY IMAGES

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has expressed regrets about getting into football.

The Russian oligarch took over Chelsea from Ken Bates in the summer of 2003 and instantly transformed the club.

Debts were cleared, countless players were bought, and trophies were quickly amassed.

Since Abramovich arrived in English football, no club have claimed more silverware than Chelsea.

During that period, the Blues have won 16 major trophies, including the Champions League, two Europa Leagues and five Premier League crowns.

But Abramovich, speaking to Forbes in a rare interview, has suggested he might not have bought Chelsea had he known how much it would raise his profile.

In hindsight, especially with the public profile it would bring me, maybe I would have thought differently about owning a club.

But, at the time, I just saw this incredible game and that I wanted to be a part of that in one way or another.

There have been on-off rumours that the Blues had been put up for sale, with Abramovich reportedly looking for more than £2 billion.

The 54-year-old billionaire businessman has not been to a Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge for over two years and can no longer work in England after deciding not to renew his visa.

However, Abramovich has doubled down on his desire to lead Chelsea into the future amid speculation he was losing interest.

First of all, is when you say something, you have to always follow through. And, I guess, that is especially if you're a person who doesn't say much. So, what you do say is very important.

Second, football is society. Football is part of society and society is part of football. So, it's the natural state of things for football to be in be involved, to support the community, and to be present in the community.

The ambitions are as true now as they were when I first became owner and I hope that can be seen through the work we have been doing on and off the pitch over the last 17 years.

I think the trophies speak for themselves and show what we as a club have been able to achieve over these year and it's my goal for us to keep winning trophies going forward and build for the future.

Chelsea has a very rich history, and I feel extremely fortunate to a play a part in that. The club was here before me, and will be here after me, but my job is to ensure we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future. That's why the success of our academy at Cobham is so important to me.

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