When Roman Abramovich announced he would be selling Chelsea last week, it was a major shock. For a whole generation of Blues fans, they have only known the Abramovich era. The high spending, the big names, and 21 trophies in just 19 years. However, the era is coming to an abrupt end and it looks like the new owner will be quite different to the last. Quite, outspoken, but extremely powerful; Abramovich changed Chelsea forever, and his successor will have to offer a similar project for fans to fall in love with them as they did the previous owner.
In fact, the love or Abramovich is so much that an ill-advised airing of his name took place during the Premier League’s approved moment of introspection for what is going on in Ukraine. Despite numerous names being mentioned for the ownership of Chelsea, one name has sprung up with a very interesting link to English football.
Jamie Reuben is believed to be linked with a move to take over from Abramovich and own Chelsea. You might recognise the name – Reuben was one of the other parties involved in the takeover of Newcastle United. Currently a director at the Magpies, Reuben has been linked with making a direct move to take over the Blues. This would be quite an interesting story, as the former Queens Park Rangers board member would love to own the club.
With a 10% stake in Newcastle, Jamie and his brothers Jamie and Simon are believed to be worth in excess of £5bn. If they wished to own Chelsea, they would need to sell on their shares as part of Newcastle to ensure the deal could take place.
Other names in the hat for Chelsea
One name who has also come up at the moment has been that of Todd Boehly. The American billionaire is expected to come in with a big that also involves Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and another business mind yet to be named. The investment of the trio of high-value individuals would be intriguing, as it would change up the structure from a one-man operation to a more general consortium.
Another example of who could be involved is the current New York Jets owner Woody Johnson. He is the owner of the Jets, who currently have the ‘proud’ record of being on the longest playoff drought in the NFL. They have not taken part in the playoffs for over a decade, and have won nothing in the 31 years of ownership that Johnson has overseen.
For Blues fans, it might be time to accept that the future of Chelsea will be very different. With Abramovich gone, the days of being a super club might be over. High and intense spending might be replaced more by the model used by Chelsea in recent years. Thankfully, the years of investment and infrastructure means the Blues can point to owning one of the best all-around academy systems and training grounds in the English game.
Whoever comes in next, though, will be looking to try and follow up on what might be the hardest owner to beat in football history.