Roman Abramovich is starting his 19th (nineteenth!) season as Chelsea owner, and while he continues to shun the limelight, his commitment to the club has not waned — contrary to many doomsayers back in 2003 and also more recently amid his UK visa issues, which contributed to putting the new stadium plans on indefinite hold, with rumors of selling the club soon following as well.
Abramovich’s commitment extends well beyond just throwing money at transfers, too, with Chelsea becoming a leading force in the fight against Antisemitism, racism, and all forms of discrimination, and also taking on a very helpful role in the NHS’s efforts of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, including holding a recent vaccination drive at Stamford Bridge (with head coach Thomas Tuchel getting jabbed as well).
And of course Uncle Roman loves his football, too, especially of the Chelsea kind, which left him just as frustrated as the rest of us this weekend. With no one in attendance at Cobham and no streams available, Abramovich also had no way of watching our first friendly of the preseason — until he remembered the he’s Roman Effin’ Abramovich, and called in a favor. As Peterborough United owner and chairman, Darragh MacAnthony revealed on Twitter, “a certain Football Club owner” asked them to share their private match stream, which presumably they did in short order.
It’s good to be the king.
(Whether we ever get to see any highlights is also debatable, judging by the lack of any from last year’s similar 7-1 friendly win over QPR, I wouldn’t count on it.)