'He likes challenges' - Chelsea board member explains why Abramovich purchased Blues


Chelsea board member Eugene Tenenbaum has explained why Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, saying that the businessman loves challenges. 

Abramovich took over the Blues with a £140 million ($175m) bid, kicking off a period of success for the club that has seen them win 16 major trophies in 17 years. 

Tenenbaum, who is one of Abramovich's closest associates, explained that the Israeli-Russian billionaire was hungry for the challenge of taking an already-established football team to a higher level. 

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“He is an entrepreneur. He likes challenges. Once he gets focused, it’s not luck," Tenenbaum told Forbes

"He likes to understand what a project is about and involve himself for the long term. He likes a drive for results. He likes to win and he wants to help out.

"In football, the exciting thing is that you set the plan, you execute the plan, and then every week you have a validation or not of whether your plan is correct.”

Abramovich's takeover of the Blues kicked off a new era in the Premier League, as the deal represented the first time a club was purchased by a major foreign investor.

Abramovich invested massively in the playing squad and experienced plenty of on-field success, a formula that was followed by the likes of Manchester City.

But Tenenbaum said that other investments that Abramovich made, including on a new training centre, a women's team and charitable pursuits, had a big impact as well.

“It is so important to see the excellence of the institution and the excellence of society," Tenenbaum said.

Even after nearly two decades in charge, Tenenbaum said that Abramovich is still exhilarated by the challenge of running a football team.

“He likes to figure things out. I think the reason why he loves football after all of these years is that it’s not a formula. It’s not an algorithm. I think that is why people love it and why it is the number one sport in the world," Tenenbaum added.

“In a business environment, you have sales figures, you have results. But in this situation, every week you have a validation or not of what your strategy is and I think that’s the exciting part.”

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