After confirming his intentions to step away from Chelsea FC, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has become somewhat of a hot topic among football and business pundits alike.
According to Football.London, “The 55-year-old has taken the decision to relinquish control to protect the club from reputational damage following Russia’s attempted invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich has always denied close links to Russian president Vladmir Putin.”
Abramovich has been the primary owner of Chelsea ever since 2003 — an era in which the Blues have won several titles, dominated the world of international and domestic football leagues, and gained millions of fans all around the world. Much of this owes itself to the man who, through calculated business dealings and heavy-handed investments, has brought the club to where it stands today.
As one of the sport’s most wealthy figures, let’s take a look at his finances during this crucial time for the club:
According to the latest figures from Forbes, Roman Abramovich currently cashes in at $12.4 billion as of March 3rd, 2022. This makes the 55-year-old #142, when ranked against the richest people on the planet.
Most of his fortune was built on the backs of steel giant Evraz, and Norilsk Nickel. Evraz is a London-headquartered steel firm with bases in several countries, primarily Russia and Ukraine. Norilsk is situated primarily in Russia, with both companies pulling in a combined $28B+ annual revenue.
As a high-profile billionaire, Abramovich owns a sprawling set of valuable properties and vehicles; his most iconic one perhaps being the world’s second largest yacht, ‘Eclipse’. It was the world’s largest when it was bought in 2010 for $400 million — a price good enough to buy yourself and 399 other friends a McLaren Senna each.
While his ostentatious holdings seem too high to fault, Abramovich is actually going through a serious decline in his net worth — a trend that seems to coincide with his ownership of Chelsea around 20 years ago. He was once Russia’s richest man with a net worth sitting in the region of $23.5billion (£17.5billion), that number peaking in 2008.
Today, that number is around half of what it was, owing to investments, luxury costs, an expensive divorce in 2018 from businesswoman and art collector Dasha Zhukova, as well as the growing crisis between Russia and Ukraine. In fact, it has dropped by a staggering 25 percent (YTD), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Regarding the recent Chelsea sale, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss was reportedly approached.
He said, “[Abramovich] wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.”
(Featured Image Credits: @ChelseaFC/Twitter)