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Blues chiefs optimistic

Club chiefs Ron Gourlay and Bruce Buck are convinced Chelsea are well set to continue their success under Roman Abramovich.

Last Updated: 01/07/13 at 07:32 Post Comment

Abramovich: 10 years at the helm with Chelsea

Abramovich: 10 years at the helm with Chelsea

Club chiefs Ron Gourlay and Bruce Buck are convinced Chelsea are well set to continue the success achieved during Roman Abramovich's 10 years as owner.

Since buying the club on July 1, 2003, Abramovich has overseen three Premier League titles - Chelsea's first since 1955 - as well as winning four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League he so coveted and last season's Europa League.

And chief executive Gourlay said: "It has been a hugely successful decade for Chelsea Football Club since Roman Abramovich took control, with an unprecedented number of trophies in the last 10 years.

"The club has also taken great strides off the field in that time, adapting to meet the challenges of football's changing landscape.

"Mr Abramovich's early investment in playing staff paid dividends in creating a team admired around the world, but to keep Chelsea among the elite we have always known we must produce our own world-class talent and we are beginning to see the benefits of our Academy, which will help us meet our long-term objectives for Financial Fair Play.

"As we prepare for the next 10 years, I feel we are well positioned to continue the success we have so far enjoyed under Mr Abramovich and everybody here is determined to build on that progress we have made."

Chairman Buck recalled the club's troubled financial situation before Abramovich arrived with a takeover which changed the landscape of English football beyond recognition.

The Russian billionaire was only the Premier League's second overseas owner, following Fulham's Mohamed Al Fayed, and he set the template for the subsequent influx of eastern European, American and Middle Eastern money into the league.

He bankrolled the arrival of £150million worth of talent in Glen Johnson, Alexey Smertin, Geremi, Juan Sebastian Veron, Damien Duff, Wayne Bridge, Joe Cole, Adrian Mutu, Hernan Crespo, Claude Makelele and Scott Parker that first summer.

More and more international stars have followed, with the club spending an estimated £874m on transfers and £1.5billion on wages during his decade at Stamford Bridge.

"What came through to me loud and clear in those early days was the new owner's passion for the game and the potential he saw for what Chelsea FC could achieve, both on and off the pitch," Buck wrote in the Times.

"But few people could have comprehended 10 years ago how Roman Abramovich's ownership would quickly transform Chelsea, taking them from a club facing mid-table mediocrity and near bankruptcy to become one of the most formidable football teams in the world.

"Yes, there is no denying that there have been almost the same number of managers as there have been trophies (11, if the recently returned Jose Mourinho's two spells are counted separately). But the proof is in the pudding.

"Now of course, Chelsea fans, the fans of other clubs, journalists and observers of the world of football look forward. Will Roman Abramovich become bored, having won all the major trophies? My answer is no. Can Jose Mourinho bring more success to the club? My answer is yes."


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