Premier League

Roman Abramovich could have bought Arsenal instead of Chelsea but was mistakenly told they weren’t for sale

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH could have bought Arsenal instead of Chelsea over 16 years ago — but he was mistakenly warned off the Gunners by ignorant Swiss bankers.

And the billionaire Russian oligarch tried several times unsuccessfully to lure Gunners talisman Thierry Henry to Stamford Bridge when the Frenchman was in his pomp.

Roman Abramovich could have taken over Arsenal instead of Chelsea

The stunning revelations have been made in book, The Club, penned by two Wall Street Journal writers.

They spoke at length with executives from leading Premier League clubs.

The book claims in 2003, Abramovich hired Swiss bank UBS to examine the economics  of English top-flight football.

One of its findings was that ‘Arsenal were categorically not for sale’.

The Russian was mistakenly told that Gunners chiefs would not be open to selling in 2003

Abramovich instead took over Chelsea for £140m and went on to win five Prem titles and a Champions League.

The book also says former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein believed the club’s owners would have cashed in if Abramovich had offered.

Another claim is Abramovich met with Tottenham’s chairman but ‘while his Mercedes trundled along Tottenham High Road, he looked out and said in Russian, “This is worse than Omsk” —  the grim Siberian outpost where he had a refinery.’

The Club: How the Premier League Became the Richest, Most Disruptive Business in Sport, by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, £20 John Murray publishers

Abramovich took charge at Chelsea instead, overseeing five title wins since

Abramovich took charge at Chelsea instead, overseeing five title wins since

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