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Roman: The once prominent figure is nowhere to be seen

“Roman Abramovich to pay for NHS staff to sleep in Chelsea hotel to aid outbreak” is the headline the Independent decided to use on the...

“Roman Abramovich to pay for NHS staff to sleep in Chelsea hotel to aid outbreak” is the headline the Independent decided to use on the 18th March 2020. A lot different from the headline used on the 21st May 2018 “Roman Abramovich: Chelsea owners return to the UK halted by a government crackdown on Russian Visas”. Roman Abramovich was seen in attendance in Chelsea’s Europa League Final against Arsenal. However, the once-prominent figure hasn’t been seen sitting in his center pitch seat at Stamford Bridge in quite some time. The question is, why?

Roman, who was once the 13th richest person in Britain, held an entrepreneurial visa which came up for renewal. Roman is classed as “Tier 1” this visa is for “high-valued migrants” from outside the EEA. Roman had applied for a new one and shortly after, it was reported by the Russian outlet “The Bell” that there had been a delay. A spokesman for Abramovich declined to comment, as did the Home Office. “We do not routinely comment on individual cases”, said Security Minister Ben Wallace.  

The British Government has lately been targeting “regime-linked money”. Why? This is because of the Salisbury attack in March, where a former Russian spy was poisoned. You may be thinking where Roman fits into this? Well, depending on who you ask, it hasn’t helped Romans case that being a very close friend of Vladimir Putin may not be such a good thing. In 2018, Roman withdrew his Visa request amidst the UK being vocal about the “worrying Russian influence in the wage of the nerve agent attack”.

Since the withdrawal, Roman has since acquired Israeli citizenship and has moved to Tel Aviv. Israel grants citizenship to any Jewish person wishing to move there and a passport can be issued immediately. Israeli passport holders can enter the UK without a visa for short stays, although they require visas to work.

Since the failure to acquire a UK Visa, there have been multiple reports of Abramovich wanting to sell the club but chairman Bruce Buck was quoted in an interview with ‘The Guardian’ saying, “I have never heard a word from Mr. Abramovich: ‘Let’s get this ready for a sale,’ or something. Because of the political situation, there are people who think they might want to buy the Chelsea football club at a bargain. We do get inquiries and we really have nothing to say to these people. In terms of being involved, in looking at new players, talking about whether to extend players’ contracts, do we buy this player, do we sell this player, [Abramovich] was always intimately involved in that from day one and is just as intimately involved now”.
The UK may be stopping him from working in the UK, but it hasn’t stopped him from helping out in this worldwide pandemic. Abramovich will be paying for all NHS staff to stay at Chelsea’s Millennium Hotel for at least the next two months. Not a bad gesture. 
I personally miss the big man's aura at the Bridge and hope to see him at Stamford Bridge in his multi-million £ box soon.

Written by: @CFC_CHRIS_

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