Former Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Nearly Bought Arsenal in 2003 but Was Told It Was Not for Sale

Former Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Nearly Bought Arsenal in 2003 but Was Told It Was Not for Sale

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:12 PM
In this article:
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  • A new book has revealed that Roman Abramovich was nearly close to buying Arsenal in 2003
  • Abramovich was mistakenly advised by Swiss bankers that the club was not for sale, although the owners were ready to cash in
  • The Russian billionaire went on to purchase Chelsea and instantly brought their first league title in 50 years in 2005

The Premier League titles, the Champions League, and so many other trophies could all be Arsenals if former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich succeeded in buying the club.

The Russian billionaire bought the Blues, ushering in an era of success never before seen at Stamford Bridge.

Roman Abramovich, Arsenal, Chelsea, Thierry Henry, Premier League, Champions League
Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich nearly bought Arsenal but bought Chelsea instead. Photos by Phil Cole, Alexander Hassenstein and Mike Hewitt.
Source: Getty Images

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Abramovich's ambition to buy the club was rebuffed

According to The Sun, a book written by two Wall Street Journal writers called the Club, Abramovich was close to purchasing the Gunners, who were on top of the world then.

The stunning details reveal that the Russian oligarch hires Swiss bank UBS to analyze the economics and viability of the English Premier League. However, the bank shockingly came to the conclusion that 'Arsenal was not for sale'.

Abramovich eventually bought their London rivals, Chelsea, for £140 million, bringing unprecedented success to the side until he sold the club in 2022 due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Gunner's former vice-chairman David Dein believed that the owners would have instantly sold the Gunners, a side that was enjoying success then.

Abramovich's 19-year reign at Stamford Bridge elevated Chelsea to a European and English powerhouse. They won two Champions League trophies as well as five Premier League titles.

The book also revealed that Abramovich sensationally tried to bring Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry to the club, something which he failed to achieve.

Todd Boehly blasted over Premier League All-Star idea

Sports Brief earlier reported on Todd Boehly's American-style Premier League All-Star ideas, which was heavily criticised by pundits like Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher and fans on social media.

Boehly, who bought Chelsea this summer, said that the Premier League ought to have a North vs South All-Star game, an event which he says will diversify revenue for the league.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.