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Football Reporting


Chelsea statement as Roman Abramovich launches legal battle amid “false allegations”

Chelsea has released a statement expressing its “pride” at their success since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

The Russian billionaire has turned the Blues into a global superpower, but his motives for buying the club have been questioned.

Legal action is being taken against publishers HarperCollins and author of the book ‘Putin’s People’, Catherine Belton, after it claimed Abramovich purchased Chelsea on the Russian leader’s request.

The allegation was made by Russian billionaire Sergei Pugachev, once dubbed “Putin’s banker”.

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He claimed in the High Court in 2018 that Putin had ordered Abramovich to purchase Chelsea.

Pugachev’s witness statements were branded “self-serving” and “impossible to believe” by Mrs Justice Rose, in his dispute with JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank.

Roman Abramovich has denied claims made against him
Roman Abramovich has denied claims made against him

Chelsea have addressed the claims and stated : “The club and its staff are proud of its many achievements under Mr Abramovich’s stewardship, including the 16 major trophies won on the pitch by the Men’s team, the eight won by the Women’s team.

“The major successes achieved by the club’s Academy, the establishment of world-class training facilities at Cobham.

“And the significant work the club and the Chelsea Foundation are doing in the community, including our continued work to fight all forms of discrimination.”

Abramovich himself has also released a statement denying the allegations and outlining his actions going forward.

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He said: “Today my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England in relation to a book that was published in the UK. The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club.

“Today’s action was not taken lightly. It has never been my ambition to gain a public profile and I have always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about me or Chelsea Football Club.

“However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on my personal reputation, but also in respect of the activities of Chelsea Football Club.

“My objective has been to avoid a legal case and my legal team has engaged with the publishers to try to find an amicable resolution.

Chelsea have enjoyed huge success since the Russian's arrival
Chelsea have enjoyed huge success since the Russian’s arrival

“We have provided them with detailed information addressing the various false allegations about me in the book, including the repetition of allegations that have already been held to be false in the English High Court during previous legal proceedings.

“Unfortunately, these engagements were not successful, and the publisher has not corrected the false statements in the book.

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“On the subject of Chelsea Football Club. In contrast to the portrayal in the book, my ambition with Chelsea Football Club has always been to create world class teams on the pitch and to ensure the club plays a positive role in all of its communities.

“I believe our successes and activities over the years speak for themselves, including the trophies won, expansion of the Chelsea Academy, development of the Women’s team and the Chelsea Foundation becoming the largest charitable organisation within the Premier League.

“It is my hope that today’s action will not only refute the false allegations in regard to my own name, but also serve as a reminder of Chelsea’s positive footprint in the UK. I have every belief that the courts will give me a fair hearing, as they have in the past.”

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