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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League

Trending: Mkhitaryan, Carrick suffer injury


Welbeck hails Mertesacker encouragement

By ESPN Staff

Abramovich pleased with Chelsea progress - Buck

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is pleased with the club's financial progress and has not lost his enthusiasm for the Blues, according to chairman Bruce Buck.

Abramovich, often seen in the stands at Chelsea matches, has missed games in the past month and there have been reports of a strained relationship with boss Jose Mourinho.

However, the Russian billionaire's absence has been due to his annual holiday in the Caribbean and his role as a governor of Chukotka, a province on the far eastern tip of Siberia.

'I can assure you that his enthusiasm has not waned one iota,' said Buck.

'When he has been absent from matches, wherever he is, he tries to catch them on television and he is in constant touch with us.

'As far as we are concerned, it has been business as usual. He attended the match on Saturday and subsequent to business commitments, I would expect that he would be a general attendee at Chelsea matches in the future.'

Abramovich has received positive news with the financial results of the year up to June 2006 revealing a £60million reduction of loss, even though the figure is still £80.2million.

The results mean there is still optimism of the club being self-sufficient by 2010, although Abramovich will remain the most important figure at the club until the target is met.

'From 2005 when we developed a five-year plan, Roman Abramovich was part of that process,' Buck told the club website,

'He was supportive of that plan then and he is supportive of it now.

'He believes and understands that the five-year plan is aggressive. Although we, the management, believe we can meet it, it is not 100% certain.

'He understands the vagaries of business. He is very supportive of what we are doing and pleased with our progress.'

Buck does not expect Abramovich to walk away from Chelsea, and the board and the club's auditors are certain the immediate financial future of the club is secure.

'That is a very hypothetical question and we don't expect that situation to occur,' Buck said of the possibility of Abramovich leaving.

'What I can say is that in signing the accounts, both the board of Chelsea FC plc and the auditors had to make an investigation and take the view that funding for Chelsea FC in the immediate future is secure.

'We are both satisfied in the financial security of Chelsea Football Club plc.'