Roman Abramovich branded Tottenham ‘worse than Omsk’ before buying Chelsea instead

Roman Abramovich branded Tottenham ‘worse than Omsk’ before buying Chelsea instead

January 8, 2019

The Russian Oligarch, 52, drove down High Road before comparing it to the remote Siberian city, it has been claimed in a new book.

Wall Street Journal football writers Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg discussed Abramovich's dramatic arrival in English football in The Club.

An excerpt read: "While his Mercedes trundled along Tottenham High Road, he looked out and said in Russian, 'This is worse than Omsk' – the grim Siberian outpost where he had a refinery."

And it is not just bad news for Tottenham fans, neighbours Arsenal also missed out on Abramovich's billions.

In 2003, the businessman hired Swiss bank UBS to examine the economics of English top-flight football.


One of its findings was that “Arsenal were categorically not for sale”.

Abramovich instead took over Chelsea for £140m and went on to win five Prem titles and a Champions League.

The book adds that former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein believed the club’s owners would have cashed in if Abramovich had offered.

So, Spurs and Gunners fans are left wondering what could have been as the Blues faithful celebrate their most successful era.

The Club: How the Premier League Became the Richest, Most Disruptive Business in Sport, by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, £20 John Murray publishers

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