Roman Abramovich 'winding down' NAF
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is to stop ploughing tens of millions into his National Football Academy (NAF) foundation, his representative has said.
Abramovich has taken the decision as he feels the Russian football development programme has now achieved all of its aims. The foundation’s activities are not being completely halted, however.
The billionaire started the NAF with a $30 million annual budget before seeing the overall expenses eventually growing to a reported $200 million.
The foundation has been involved with the training of coaches and referees, the sponsoring of youth teams across Russia, while it also paid the Russian national squad coaching staff's fees.
According to the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, the NAF paid around $7 million a year to Guus Hiddink during his time as Russia manager.
"The foundation is winding down its activities," Abramovich's representative John Mann told AFP. "The foundation has achieved the main aims for which it was created -- which is setting up a broad grass-roots system for Russian football.”
Mann added that the foundation completely renovated the youth Football Academy and created 140 new football pitches across Russia.