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Chelsea chief optimistic for future

01 Jul 2013 09:46:58

Chelsea chief optimistic for future

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."

He added: "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. 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 international stars have followed, with the club spending an estimated £874million on transfers and £1.5billion on wages during his decade at Stamford Bridge.

UEFA's new Financial Fair Play regulations present an additional test to clubs such as Chelsea used to spending their way to success. But Buck is confident they - and Abramovich - can adapt.

He wrote: "Don't forget, significant investment has already been made and the club now look optimistically at long-term financial stability under the new Financial Fair Play rules. Roman Abramovich is certainly a man of great ambition and as fervent a Chelsea fan as any you will meet in the pubs around Fulham Broadway before a match.

"Time will tell what is possible. But if history is any indication of the future, the future is bright blue."


PA

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