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Roman clears Chelsea debt


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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.j ... che221.xml

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has dipped into his £10 billion fortune again this week, this time to write off a £36 million Eurobond taken out by former chairman Ken Bates.

With Manchester United and Arsenal heavily indebted and Liverpool struggling to raise bank loans to pay for their new stadium, the move by the Russian billionaire means Chelsea are now the only one of the Premier League's four most powerful clubs to be effectively free of external debt.

Abramovich writes off Chelsea's vast annual losses by arranging interest-free loans to balance the books. According to the club's 2006 accounts, Abramovich has so far loaned Chelsea £270 million to cover losses on top of the £440 million he has spent on acquiring the club in a £140 million takeover, buying players and building a new training centre at Cobham.

Sources said that while their accounts showed the loans as debt, the club's hierarchy are confident Abramovich will never demand them to be repaid as they are converted into shares in Chelsea Football Club Ltd.

The initial £75 million Eurobond was issued by investment bank UBS Warburg (now UBS) in 1997 to help Bates buy the freehold of Stamford Bridge from the estate of the former director Matthew Harding, who was killed in a helicopter crash a year earlier.

The money was also used to refinance Chelsea's other debts and to pay for the redevelopment of the stadium and construction of a hotel and other leisure facilities on the Chelsea Village site.

The bond came with stringent repayment conditions, however, and a nine per cent annual interest charge which used to cost Chelsea about £7 million a year.

In fact, the club's new chairman, Bruce Buck, has said that the club's huge debts and the need to meet the 2003 bond repayment was one of the reasons Bates decided to sell out to Abramovich.

Speaking in 2005, Buck said: "I personally was surprised. They had a £75 million Eurobond outstanding and it was perfectly clear to the markets that they might have trouble making the July payment.

"Trevor Birch [the chief executive at the time] had been in discussions for some time about restructuring that bond. The financial community, as opposed to the football community, knew there were some real issues."

Abramovich paid off half the outstanding amount due on the 10-year bond when he took control of the club four years ago but, despite having more than enough money to pay off the rest of the loan, he decided to wait until the full amount was due to be repaid this month in order to avoid heavy early repayment penalties.

The move will silence critics, such as the sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, who last month attacked Chelsea over their indebtedness, claiming they were "£250 million in the red" and adding their financial position was "unsustainable".

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That's not a good thing, is it? That's not how a football club's supposed to be run. We need to boost finances through performance on the pitch, not through callous cash injections from a sugar daddy who treats us like his plaything. Don't you wish the bloody billionaire would f**k off and give back the club to its people?

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That's not a good thing, is it? That's not how a football club's supposed to be run. We need to boost finances through performance on the pitch, not through callous cash injections from a sugar daddy who treats us like his plaything. Don't you wish the bloody billionaire would F*** off and give back the club to its people?

Ohh yeah, how dare he put his own money into the club?

How dare he basically save us from financial collapse that would have inevitably occured?

How dare he bring the club the kind of success that would not have been possible had he not put in the best part of a 100 million pounds a season year in year out to subsidise the club out of his own pocket?

Terrible guy that Roman Abramovich, imagine the wonderfull situation we'd be in without him.

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That's not a good thing, is it? That's not how a football club's supposed to be run. We need to boost finances through performance on the pitch, not through callous cash injections from a sugar daddy who treats us like his plaything. Don't you wish the bloody billionaire would F*** off and give back the club to its people?

Yes and no. I would prefer it if we could use our own money to clear any debts we have but we can't, can we?

Roman is the owner now and if he wants his club to be free of debts, then he can pay if he wants to.

I don't mind having him at Chelsea just as long as he's not trying to interfere too much. I can accept that an owner wants to be involved, but there's a limit.

Without Roman we would be....

I don't even wanna think about it.

I am grateful that he has come here with his money and helped us out and I'm grateful that he hasn't just put money into star players but also invested in the club itself. With his help we might one day be a team that makes our own money and wont have to rely on Roman all the time. The day we can spend £50m or so on a player with our own money and not Romans, then I'll be really happy.

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That's not a good thing, is it? That's not how a football club's supposed to be run. We need to boost finances through performance on the pitch, not through callous cash injections from a sugar daddy who treats us like his plaything. Don't you wish the bloody billionaire would F*** off and give back the club to its people?

Ohh yeah, how dare he put his own money into the club?

How dare he basically save us from financial collapse that would have inevitably occured?

How dare he bring the club the kind of success that would not have been possible had he not put in the best part of a 100 million pounds a season year in year out to subsidise the club out of his own pocket?

Terrible guy that Roman Abramovich, imagine the wonderfull situation we'd be in without him.

is it at all possible that he was being ironic?

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That's not a good thing, is it? That's not how a football club's supposed to be run. We need to boost finances through performance on the pitch, not through callous cash injections from a sugar daddy who treats us like his plaything. Don't you wish the bloody billionaire would F*** off and give back the club to its people?

Ohh yeah, how dare he put his own money into the club?

How dare he basically save us from financial collapse that would have inevitably occured?

How dare he bring the club the kind of success that would not have been possible had he not put in the best part of a 100 million pounds a season year in year out to subsidise the club out of his own pocket?

Terrible guy that Roman Abramovich, imagine the wonderfull situation we'd be in without him.

is it at all possible that he was being ironic?

I wasn't sure, so I figured i'd add a post in with even more irony

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Without Roman we would be....

Happier? Some of us would be. We wish he never showed up. Never got the club out of debt. Never put his money where his mouth is. Never used his resources to power Chelsea FC into becoming a household name.

We wish we could watch games against Yeovil and Carlisle all the time. We also wish the computer was never invented, that no one ever discovered potatoes weren't poisonous, and that we could still barter wheat for milk and eggs. It was a simpler time. 346.gif

is it at all possible that he was being ironic?

Who Henry? I find that very hard to envisage.

I am non-English remember. Nobody but the English know what 'irony' is.

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I hate all the "we are not a big club" bollox that comes out of Talksh*te mostly...

No we are not... Roman has bailed us out... how much has he invested ?.. not that much, loaned yes, by the sounds of it with a view to turning it around so he gets his dosh back. probably in the long term with interest.

Also this is about half of what Manure was bought for, around 750 Million, and Arsenal stadium around 700 million not sure of the Poo numbers.

So we are a small, or should we say medium sized club, in the Villa, everton, City League upsetting the apple cart and I love it !! thats what they red establishment hate about us icon_wink.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree to the fact that Roman should just be the finance man, but if he buys a football club I think it is okay he has a say into other things as well. We just need to live with that.

In Finland we have sort of a same situation with one of our biggest hockey clubs. A wealthy man bought it and saved it and turned it into a great business. His only problem was that he thought he knew best how ice hockey should be played and sometimes he fired coaches from his cabinet and told all the experts how the titles are won etc...

It is great for the media, it creates drama etc...

Something that us fans dont always want...

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