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Monday 01 July 2013

On this day in 2003: Chelsea sold to Roman Abramovich

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall the Russian buying the West London club

  • Abramovich salutes Blues fans at his first Barclays Premier League match at Anfield

  • Within weeks of the takeover Chelsea manager Ranieri was buying many new players

  • Abramovich's reign has ushered in the club's most successful period in their history

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 1 July 2003 - Roman Abramovich buys Chelsea

Ken Bates, the owner and chairman of Chelsea, sold the club to a little-known 36-year-old Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.

"We have the resources and ambition to achieve even more given the huge potential of this great club"
Roman Abramovich

"We are delighted to agree this deal to acquire what is already one of the top clubs in Europe," Abramovich said in a statement. "We have the resources and ambition to achieve even more given the huge potential of this great club."

This proved true as a raft of signings was made by manager Claudio Ranieri within a month of the takeover. Ranieri steered the side to second behind Arsenal’s “Invincibles” in the Barclays Premier League in 2003/04, but that was not enough for the Italian, who was replaced the next summer by Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese brought in more players who helped Chelsea to win their first league title in 50 years in 2004/05.

In the 10 years since Abramovich’s takeover, Chelsea have won 11 major trophies  three Barclays Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League  the most successful period in the club's history. In that timeframe 86 players have made their debut for the Blues  20 (23%) of which came from their Academy.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember the day in 2003 when Chelsea were bought by a little-known Russian businessman
Tags: Chelsea