The governor of Chukotka and football tycoon Roman Abramovich takes about life in Russia
In an interview to BBC television, Abramovich said that it was difficult for him to deal with Chukotka and he must continue what he had started. When a BBC journalist asked him what would happen to the region when he leaves the governor post, Abramovich said: "It is a great problem: the people believe in me but they must believe in themselves."
A great part of the interview was devoted to football. The Russian oligarch explained that there were just three world leagues - Italian, Spanish and English - that were really attractive for potential investors. He preferred England because he thinks the situation in the premier league is financially attractive. Abramovich has been a fan of the premier league for many years, but the idea to buy Chelsea occurred to him less than a year ago.
The interview also touched upon the financial resources of the Russian oligarch. In fact, many people in the British society think Arbamovich's financial resources are almost endless which means that they expect that the most expensive players of the world would play for Chelsea soon. But Roman Abramovich clearly explained that his check book was not endless. "I am not thinking about how much I'm ready to spend; this will depend upon the game. We, the team and me, want to win. If I feel we need more players to achieve a better success, we will spend more money."
The Russian businessman also taked about the negative reaction his purchase of Chelsea caused. He explained the negative attitude to the fact with the traditional groundless envy of honestly earned money in Russia. "The first reaction in Russia to this purchase was extremely negative. People naming themselves patriots told me that I should invest in the Russian sport if I want to spend money. The reaction of the Russian mass media was predictable for me. The problem is that we have only been living in a free country for a short time."
The BBC journalist was surprised with the explanation, and Abramovich said: "According to different opinion polls, 88 per cent of the population treats people having money very negatively. It is very typical Russian that when problems occur to your neighbor, this is the most pleasant fact for you. I cannot explain why the situation is such. 10 years of living in the post-Soviet era is not long enough for people to rid themselves of this peculiarity. Moses led his Jews through the desert for 40 years so that the people could forget slavery."
Roman Abramovich is not going to buy Russian sports clubs. "I can help Russian teams, build stadiums, I can be a sponsor. I have a hockey team with which I have been working for a very long period already. As for football, UEFA doesn't allow ownership of clubs that participate in one and the same championship."
Particularly concerning the present-day situation in Russia, Roman Abramovich says that he is not afraid that a criminal case may be instituted against him. "I cannot say that I'm not afraid that this may happen to me. Theoretically this may happen to me as well, but I try to avoid it. This is highly impossible that criminal proceedings will be initiated against all."