According to The Wall Street Journal football writers Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg describe the story of the Russian billionaire’s arrival to the English football in their book The Club.
At the beginning of the new century, Roman Abramovich was looking for a football club in London to buy and heavily invest in; Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs were natural options.
To find the right fit, the Russian billionaire hired Swiss bank UBS to examine the economics of the British top-flight football.
The bankers told him that Arsenal were ‘categorically not for sale’, something that has been disproven since then by none other than the Gunners’ legendary vice-chairman David Dein.
As for Tottenham, Abramovich was not enamoured by the neighbourhood – as he rode along Tottenham High Road, he said ‘This is worse than Omsk’ (a grim industrial city in Siberia).
In the end, it all famously came down to the Champions League place: Chelsea earned one in 2003, and Tottenham did not; the rest, as they say, is history.