The Shadowy Past of Roman Abramovich – A Timeline

Let’s face it, there is something not quite right about Roman.

Someone recently said in relation to Luis Suarez that if you score enough goals people will forgive you for anything. If this is true, just think what you can get away with if you spend enough money.

Roman Abramovich’s story is the fairy tale rags-to-riches kind. Born in 1966 and orphaned at a young age, little Roman had auspicious beginnings, training to be a welder and working for the State. It is at this point that the fairy tale starts sounding more like The Godfather. His wealth is now in the billions and rumours of ill-doings are abound. Yet his record remains clean and the Chelsea faithful praise his good name every Saturday. This timeline offers the potential history of footballs quietest, most mysterious billionaire.

There is a lot wrong with football and there are undoubtedly other owners with questionable histories. It is just that Abramovich is such a high profile and obvious case. The chances are that he has transgressed on multiple levels and such transgressions have allowed him to create a footballing dynasty. And yet no one says anything. Is it because people don’t know, they don’t care or believe that the work he has done for Chelsea somehow represents the lesser of two evils.

And what of the FA? Part of it’s governing rules is an Owners and Directors test, the purpose of which is

“for the owners, directors and officers of clubs in those leagues to meet standards greater than that required under law so as to protect the reputation and image of the game.”

This means that when Mr Abramovich purchased Chelsea, he had to sign a piece of paper from the FA that said he has not, amongst other things, committed an offence involving a dishonest act, committed an act of corruption or perverted the course of justice. Of course, as the time line shows, Abramovich has never been convicted of any crime, let alone those set out in the test. But, the test is “greater than that required under law” so do the FA still need the burden of proof? Or did they just look the other way? It appears that until his past catches up with him, no one is saying anything about Mr Abramovich.

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