This book shocked Roman Abramovich. Released at the end of 2020. Written by English journalist Catherine Pelton. The publication has been nominated by the prestigious newspapers The Economist, Financial Times and The Telegraph for “Book of the Year”. Abramovich was glad to pull out the entire print set. Take the author to court.
The Polish title is “Putin’s People. How the KGB took Russia back and turned against the West.” Pelton, who worked for many years in Moscow as a correspondent for the Financial Times, reveals the influence of Putin and the Russian oligarchs in Great Britain. She could only allocate a place to Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club London since 2003.
The Russian oligarch bought the club, which was suffering from a huge financial crisis at the time (80 million pounds in debt) for 150 million pounds. It was a masterpiece. The English weren’t very interested, at least at first, who the Russian billionaire was, taking pictures with an unshaven face and jeans. What matters is that he had the money. His wealth aroused unlimited admiration in the British Isles.
“The Warsaw newspapers were delighted with Abramovich’s private Boeing 767, which he used to fly to London to inspect his new purchase.. Long articles are devoted to describing his luxury yachts, including the world’s largest floating palace, the Eclipse, 168 meters long.with two helipads and its own submarine,” writes Pelton.
Chelsea, since Abramovich took over, has become one of the best clubs in the world. In his book “La Mano Negra”, the French journalist Romain Molina wrote that this was the first case of the so-called “sport”, that is Improving the image through sport thanks to the money of countries where dictatorships rule or where human rights are violated.
This was the goal of Abramovich, or rather – according to Pelton and her informants – Putin. This is the Russian dictator, according to the author Sergey PugachevFor many years, a person closely associated with Putin was the initiator of the acquisition of the British club by one of the Russian oligarchs. Football is the national sport of Britain andThe goal of buying the football club was to build a bridge to Russian influence in the UK.”
“Putin told me personally about his plan to acquire Chelsea in order to increase the Russian presence on the ground and improve the country’s image, not only among the English elite but also among ordinary citizens,” Pugachev said. He spoke with Putin about this a year before Abramovich bought Chelsea.
“It was Putin who asked Abramovich to buy the club”- writes Bilton, citing another Russian oligarch.
The Russian dictator and war criminal, if he decided to, was right. Chelsea has become the apple of the eye of the football world. It has grown into a force. During Abramovich’s tenure, she won the England Championship in her first 50 years, then won another, and won the Champions League twice, last time last year. The oligarchy spent more than 2 billion dollars on transfers for 19 years! No club, not even Paris Saint-Germain, which has been backed since 2011, has come close to this amount.
In the book “Putin’s People”, the author also argues that thanks to Abramovich at Chelsea, it was easier to get the right to host the 2018 World Cup. Thanks to this, Russia gained enormous influence in FIFA. why? “[Prezydent] He felt that they should have a better track record in FIFA, which was considered a corrupt organization.”
After the book was published in March of last year, Abramovich filed a lawsuit against the author and publisher “HarperCollins”. In December last year, a settlement was reached. The publishing house decided to include an explanation from the oligarch who allegedly “did not act under anyone’s supervision” when he bought the club, and also donated a small amount to the charity.
In light of recent events, Abramovich’s explanations have become less credible. Last week, under public pressure, he announced that he would sell Chelsea FC. Income from the deal, which experts estimate at 3 billion euros, will be allocated to the victims of the war in Ukraine.
As noted by the Guardian, the oligarchy did not mention the war victims involved. Both Chelsea and Abramovich in their statements did not condemn Russia as the aggressor. Abramovich has been a friend of Putin since the late 1990s, who started the war in Ukraine.
* Catherine Bilton’s book, Putin’s People: How the KGB took Russia back and turned against the West, will be released on March 9. so. SQN, Krakow 2022, Translator. Przemysław Hjemij.
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