What if: Roman Abramovich never bought Chelsea
Long-standing Chelsea fans will remember the state of their football club before the Roman Abramovich era. The side was struggling in the Premier League and just made up the numbers in the Champions League.
The Blues had a debt of around £80m and the atmosphere at the Bridge was poisonous, to say the least.
Abramovich's arrival in 2003 ushered in a new era for the club. Paying off the side’s debts, the Russian went on to splash the cash with an alarming urgency, buying players left right and centre, hiring and firing managers at will, and bringing much-needed change to world football.
His riches have now ensured that Chelsea is considered one of Europe's powerhouses.
But what if the Russian had never met with Sven Goran Erikkson one night in 2003, a meeting which ultimately led to Abramovich’s actions? Would Chelsea still be successful? Would they enjoy the same level of popularity that they do today?
Our next “ What if ” feature takes a look at what could have happened to Chelsea FC and Roman Abramovich had decided against a takeover of the club.
#1 He would have bought London rivals Spurs instead
In 2003, Roman Abramovich decided that he had had enough of Russia and stepped up his interest in buying a Premier League club in London. With Spurs and Chelsea in his sights, the Russian billionaire decided that Chelsea was the best option after a conversation with Sven Goran Erikkson.
Reportedly, Abramovich was unwilling to purchase Spurs due to the simple fact that he would have to rebuild their entire team from scratch, which was not the case with Chelsea. According to Chelsea chairman Buck, Abramovich turned to Chelsea only after Spurs failed to arrange a meeting with him.
This was ultimately what tipped the scales in the Blues’ favour.
If Chelsea were out of the picture, though, it would have been Tottenham that would have felt the Russian’s Midas touch. Imagine the state of football had he bought Spurs instead.