It’s fair to say that one of the most common snipes from opposition supporters since Roman bought the club back in 2003, was that we’d be up the creek should he ever decide to leave us.
This wasn’t strictly true, but with the ‘debt’ millstone around our necks, many took aim and fired without seeing the irony of their own situation. Yes supporters of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, I mean you.
The club did indeed owe money to Roman however this was always interest free and with no heavy repayment schedule. At a stroke though, Roman has now signed away all debts owed to him by Chelsea FC by converting them into equity.
A statement released by Chelsea said: “Following previous conversions of half of the debt, the remainder of the interest-free loans from the parent company, whose ultimate controlling party is Roman Abramovich, have been converted into equity making the group effectively debt free.”
In doing so, Roman has also alleviated any threat from so-called ‘financial fair play’ rules being mooted in UEFA corridors of power. Indeed, the club could also be taking a different strategy; to squeeze our rivals in the economic downturn and over the coming years.
It was allegedly a visit by Roman in person to see Michel Platini that gave momentum to the plans for the proposed new regulations in European competition. This of course is convenient for Chelsea, as our rivals do not have the same option available.
One suspects the banks will not be as kind to Manchester United or Liverpool as Roman has been to us.