Fears raised at Chelsea takeover
Tony Banks MP, the former sports minister, has called for the government to look into the deal which has seen a controversial Russian billionaire buy Chelsea in a deal worth up to 140m.
Banks, a Chelsea fan, said he would be asking the sports minister Richard Caborn to examine last night’s deal in which the current chairman Ken Bates sold a controlling interest in Chelsea Village plc to Roman Abramovich. „We need to look at the source of his money, what his track record has been in Russia, to establish whether he is a fit and proper person to take over a football club in this country,“ said the Labour MP. „At the moment I don’t like it.
„We know that Chelsea is in financial difficulties and that a deal has Authentic Prada Handbags For Cheap been arranged with an individual we know nothing about, with a background we know nothing about, from a country that has a reputation that is not savoury in terms of its financial situation.“
Another high-profile Chelsea fan, while taking a more benign view, was also concerned about Abramovich’s background. David Mellor MP, a friend of Bates and vocal supporter of the club, said the deal had been struck to ease significant financial pressures. „Maintaining the debt whilst sustaining rash player contracts signed by the previous managing director [Colin Hutchinson] was putting the club under pressure.
„The club has needed financial restructuring and conventional banking practices made it Best Prada Outlet In Italy hard for that restructuring to be achieved.
„At the end of the day it required a fairy godmother to appear. That fairy godmother appeared from Russia in the last three days.
„He apparently looked at Manchester United and decided they would be too expensive, at Spurs and Arsenal and for one Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Online Store reason or another he decided he didn’t fancy them. I hope his money has been obtained in ways that are above suspicion. We must hope that this man stands up to scrutiny and that his ambitions for the club are sensible and efficient.“
Bates, who has been chairman of Chelsea for 21 years, announced last night that Abramovich, 36, had agreed to buy a controlling stake in Chelsea Village plc, the club’s parent company, in a deal that values the club at 60m and would take on the company’s debt of Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Dresses Uk around 80m.
Abramovich is paying 29.4m for 50.9% of the shares and has offered to buy up the remaining shares. The largest remaining shareholder is Ruth Harding, widow of the former director Matthew Harding.
If Abramovich, who has extensive oil, mineral, media and sporting interests in Russia, decides to clear the debt it could transform the club’s prospects at a stroke. In recent seasons Chelsea have been hampered by the need to service the debt which allowed it to transform Stamford Bridge into a state-of-the-art stadium replica prada leather bags, hotel and leisure complex.
Bates, who bought the club for 1 in 1982, stands to pocket 17.5m but is expected to stay on at the club in some capacity.
He said: „This is a great deal for Chelsea Village, the club and our fans. The club will benefit from a new owner with deeper pockets to move Chelsea to the next level. I look forward to working with Roman Abramovich to move the club on to better Are Prada Mens Shoes Worth It things.“
The former Chelsea and England striker Jimmy Greaves was stunned. „I thought the Queen would abdicate before Bates stepped down. It’s like the Pope announcing he’s becoming a protestant.
„Nobody knows anything about this bloke Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Online Shopping and there’s no way he can love Chelsea as much as Bates.“
Another former Chelsea and England striker Kerry Dixon Bicester Village Prada Store Number praised Bates for his dedication to the club, Bicester Village Prada Refund adding: „I hope this is good news. Obviously everyone will be looking and waiting to see exactly what plans the new owners have Authentic Prada Bags For Cheap for the club.“
Abramovich, who has a law degree, was elected to Russia’s lower house of parliament in 1999, and in 2001 was sworn in as governor of the Siberian province of Chukotka. He owns the fifth largest oil company in Russia and also has shares in Aeroflot and a leading TV company.
Jonathan Clare, Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada E Shop deputy chairman of Citygate Deane Rogerson who advised Abramovich, said: „He’s looked at a number of clubs to invest in and decided that Chelsea fitted the bill best of all. In other words a big club with a good name.“
He added: „Roman gives few interviews. He is a quiet self-deprecating man but he loves the game. He watches games and watches Chelsea as well as watching football all over the world.“
Time magazine recently reported the view of an oil and gas analyst Mikhail Krutikhin: „Abramovich is the real financial genius of the bandit-capitalism epoch.“