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Reportedly, Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich will soon make the most difficult choice of his life...

Chelsea aren't keen on handing boss Luiz Felipe scolari any cash to spend in the impending January transfer window.

Like everyone else, the capital club has been affected by the frightening state of the global financial climate. Naturally, though, the sting of such worries takes has more ridiculous complexion at Stamford Bridge than anywhere else.

Reports suggest that billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich will have to choose to sell either the club or his £200 million mega yacht, Pelorus. In fact, he has allegedly sounded out buyers for the club already, hinting that the boat may be too dear to his heart.

According to Russian press agency Prime-Tass - who source an expert in football finance and, for some reason, someone of standing in German football - Abramovich's fortune has dwindled from €16.7 billion (£13.2bn) to €2.3bn (£2.25bn).

The giant yacht apparently has a couple of helipads and an anti-missile system to fend off pirates - a job given to skipper John Terry at the Bridge.

Further reports in Russia hint at the practical affect which the crisis is having on Chelsea. For instance, apparently the players are paying for their own lunches.

The club is yet to comment on the rife speculation.


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Further reports in Russia hint at the practical affect which the crisis is having on Chelsea. For instance, apparently the players are paying for their own lunches.

OMG how shocking!!!

Hillarious article and how if was true would he be planning to make money out of a yacht?!?Rent it out?!

Edited by Laylabelle
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Is Roman Abramovich looking to sell Chelsea? The club insist their Russian benefactor remains fully committed to his west London adventure but the possibility of Abramovich moving on was debated at length in certain parts of the City of London yesterday.

Abramovich does his business quietly, and no one had a whisper of his deal to buy out Ken Bates in June 2003 until the last moment, but those bankers discussing the Russian's plans yesterday were asking one question in particular – "Why now?'' If Abramovich is seeking to recoup a substantial part of his £600 million investment, then this period of global financial meltdown seems a strange time to hang the "for sale'' sign up outside the Bridge.

Chelsea are obviously a far more attractive proposition than Newcastle United, for their playing staff as much as anything, but the chill wind blowing through the financial markets has frozen much of the movement in the Klondike-style rush to buy a Premier League club.

Those who believe Abramovich is keen on offloading Chelsea argue that the oligarch may have taken a buffeting by the turbulence afflicting the financial markets. Unlikely. The wolf is hardly howling at the gates of this multi-billionaire's mansion.

So why do these stories continue to grow about Abramovich's intentions? Some people are convinced the Russian might simply have fallen out of love with Chelsea, that the heartbreak of the Champions League final defeat in Moscow was just too much. Even Chelsea fans are wondering about their owner's aims. Abramovich traditionally eschews public pronouncements but the increasing chatter about his intentions needs addressing. Chelsea supporters deserve some signal from the benefactor about the depth of his passion for the club.

He has always seemed smitten by Chelsea, always seemed in tune with youth-team developments as well as first-team fortunes. Anyone who has seen Abramovich wandering around Chelsea's training ground, the magnificent Cobham complex his munificence helped fund, would appreciate that this is a man who did fall in love with the club. The two Premier League titles, the runs in the Champions League, undoubtedly excited Abramovich so it would be sad for him and Chelsea if the relationship seemed to be hurtling to an end. There is still so much to be done.

Abramovich should stay and he should invest. Although his long-term plan of getting Chelsea to live more within their means is laudable, Abramovich must realise that the team need reinforcing, particularly in attack and on the left wing. But where is the money? Chelsea seemed to have Wayne Bridge's Manchester City deal sorted for the moment the January transfer window opened, indicating they are generating money to fund recruits. If Luiz Felipe Scolari has been told he can spend only what he brings in, the squad will stagnate.

What is the point of luring a coach of the quality of Scolari, a World Cup winner with a good track record in Brazilian club football, and then denying him the resources to shape the side, an ageing team? Apart from Deco and Jose Bosingwa, Scolari is working with players brought in by his predecessors, Avram Grant, Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri. Many of his charges are outstanding but every manager craves the money to mould the team. The Brazilian could be forgiven for feeling bemused; his quip on Friday about "now not being the time to spend money'' may have had another meaning when discussing the extent of his Christmas present-buying. Unless Chelsea splash out in the transfer market questions will persist about Abramovich's commitment.

Now is not the time to leave. For all the critical headlines swirling around the club, Chelsea's future will look so much the brighter if they can manage a decent performance at Manchester United on Sunday and an FA Cup third-round replay win at Southend United. Those two away trips will define Chelsea's domestic season.

Now is the time for Abramovich to be strong, to show his support for Scolari and Chelsea. A craved Champions League trophy is not beyond Chelsea this season, and would Abramovich really like to see another owner enjoy the fruits of his labours at Chelsea?

The Daily Telegraph
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Roman Abramovich has no intention of selling Chelsea.

His representatives dispute the figures in Russian newspaper Izvestia, which calculated his assets had declined this year from £15.42bn to £2.16bn. They point out that the peak figures were only notional values of shares in companies.

As Abramovich has no intention of selling his assets, which are well diversified around the world and include some robust industries, such as gold mines and steel production, there is no reason there should be a sudden withdrawal of the £578m he has loaned to the club.

"He's taken a big hit, like most of the Russian oligarchs," a respected independent business expert in Moscow told the Mail on Sunday. "But he started with nothing. He knows how to make money in different conditions and he sees this as an opportunity as much as a crisis. Chelsea and his yachts are part of his life. He won't give them up."

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