Abramovich under fire from Russians


  • Other Sport
  • Saturday, 05 Jul 2003

MOSCOW: Russian football chief Vyacheslav Koloskov scolded compatriot billionaire Roman Abramovich on Thursday for buying English club Chelsea instead of investing in clubs at home. 

Abramovich, 36, who made his fortune in oil and aluminium, bought the premier league club this. 

“Of course, I would have preferred if he (Abramovich) bought a Russian club instead,” Koloskov told Reuters. 

WANTED: Juventus' Edgar Davids is amont the world's top footballers on the shopping list of Russian billionaire and Chelsea's new owner Roman Abramovich.

“Especially, if he has made all his millions in Russia, by using this country's natural wealth, its oil, gas and other resources. 

“On the other hand, it's his money, so it was perfectly appropriate for him to spent it the way he wanted.” 

Koloskov said he would welcome money being poured into Russian football by the new breed of super-rich “oligarchs”. 

He also disagreed with the view Russia has no high-profile clubs that would make a logical business investment. 

“We already had (oil company) LUKOIL buying Spartak Moscow, Siberian Aluminium (Sibal, now known as Basic Element) buying Krylya Sovietov Samara and Norilsk Nickel taking over Torpedo-Metallurg Moscow, but certainly there is room for a few more of them in our game,” he said. 

However, Koloskov has seen at least one positive aspect in Abramovich's acquisition. 

“Well, we know Chelsea as one of the top clubs in England, a well-run organisation with good infrastructure, top managerial and administrative personnel,” he said. 

“So now, since we have a Russian owner there, we could develop closer ties with Chelsea. We could use the London club as a training ground for our managers, administrators and so on. That would make good sense from our point of view,” he added. – Reuters 

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