Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich Reportedly Detained by FBI (or not)

Martin Rose

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly in the United States and in FBI custody. Or not.

This has apparently just started raging on Twitter a few minutes ago, and our Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History has now posted about this as well, but the rumors are flying all over the place after Russian Times went to press with a report that Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has been detained by FBI authorities. For what, it isn't clear, but if his detainment is true then it follows very shortly after the discovery of fellow Russian oligarch (and Roman Abramovich nemesis) Boris Berezovsky's body in somewhat-mysterious circumstances a mere forty-eight hours ago in his residence outside of London. Again, the only source of this is a Russian Times article and there hasn't been any real confirmation from any other news source or authorities, but if this is true then the ramifications within the EPL are enormous.

There hasn't been any real defined plan for the club in case Abramovich leaves - whether on his own terms or others - and the club hasn't exactly had a storybook season on top of this. As much as I despise the concept of a single person or entity flushing a club with excessive cash beyond what they organically generate, I can't begrudge the improvements that Abramovich has made in his relatively-short time running the west London club, and they've grown into a model of self-sustainability through successes on the pitch. For all the failures or limited success stories we've seen in similar situations recently, it's impossible to say as much regarding Chelsea and that's squarely due to the involvement of Roman Abramovich and his apparent desire to win at all costs. If this is true, that Abramovich is in custody, how the club would continue to run and sustain their position of power in the EPL, with an absentee owner facing potentially devastating legal battles, will be a story closely followed and scrutinized for the foreseeable future.

Update (9:40am CDT): Well, just as quickly as this story spread like a wildfire through a dry patch of weeds, representatives from all concerning parties are quickly dousing the flames of this story. Carry on.

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