Jan 8, 2019
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Roman Abramovich claimed Tottenham was ‘worse’ than parts of Siberia before deciding to buy Chelsea

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Roman Abramovich decided to buy Chelsea instead of Tottenham Hotspur after branding the area worse than parts of Siberia.

The London rivals meet in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, a game you can hear live on talkSPORT from 8pm.

Abramovich was not pleased with what he saw in Tottenham High Road

According to claims made in a new book, the Russian multi-billionaire drove down Tottenham High Road before comparing it to the remote Siberian city of Omsk where part of his industrial empire is based.

Wall Street Journal football writers Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg made the startling revelation in new book ‘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.”

The same book revealed the 52-year-old was close to buying Arsenal in 2003, but instead chose to purchase the Blues. However, he was mistakenly told the club was not for sale.

Abramovich hoists the Champions League trophy aloft in 2012

In 2003, the businessman hired Swiss bank UBS to examine the financial aspects of the Premier League as he mulled over a move.

One of the conclusions was that ‘Arsenal were categorically not for sale’.

However, the book claims former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein believed the club’s owners would have actually sanctioned a sale if an offer came in.

Instead, Abramovich bought Chelsea for £40million and led the club to the most successful period of their history.


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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