There has rarely been a corporate exit as dramatic as that of Roman Abramovich

He may have changed English football forever, but he’s done a lot more than that, argues Chris Blackhurst

<p>Roman Abramovich was the one, the person who, whenever wealthy club bosses were mentioned, would be cited immediately</p>

Roman Abramovich was the one, the person who, whenever wealthy club bosses were mentioned, would be cited immediately

One minute he’s lord of all he surveys, the billionaire owner of the football champions of Europe, of the world, lauded for his brilliance and largesse. The next, he is gone.

In the long history of many corporate exits there has rarely been one so dramatic as Roman Abramovich’s from Chelsea. Sure, there have been rapid departures from boardrooms and fire sales. But this is the owner, the backer, of a club that was not in any trouble – far from it. Indeed, so keen is the Russian to extricate himself that he seems prepared to take a hit on the £1.5bn he loaned during his almost 20-year reign.

Faced with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine other oligarchs suspected of enjoying ties to the Kremlin find themselves in a similar position, threated with sanctions and vilified by politicians and media. Yet they have not acted so quickly and decisively as Abramovich.

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