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Oct 7, 2009

Roman Abramovich at Chelsea "for the long haul"

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck is adamant that Roman Abramovich still retains a long-term vision for the club but has claimed if the Russian did leave, the Blues would still be on a sound financial footing.

Abramovich has completely changed the complexion of the Premier League club since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2003 but the mantle of multi-million pound investment has been firmly taken up by Manchester City in the past 12 months.

In contrast, following a substantial initial outlay, Abramovich has sought to rein in spending in recent years and the club are committed to reaching a point when they break even. This will not be achieved under outgoing chief executive Peter Kenyon though, who had often pledged to take the club into profit.

But Buck is confident that Chelsea are in rude health and has underlined that Abramovich has no plans to walk away from the club which has won two Premier League titles in his six years as owner.

"I think we'd be in a reasonably good state (if Abramovich left)," Buck told BBC Radio Five Live. "To be perfectly honest as directors we have a responsibility under the Companies Act and we have a responsibility when we deal with the orders at the end of the year.

"We are comfortable - the directors of Chelsea Football Club are comfortable - that Mr Abramovich is here for the long haul. Every year we're required to look at that; we're comfortable and we don't see that as an issue at all."

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