Ex-Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Keeps a Low Profile in Istanbul

Ex-Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Keeps a Low Profile in Istanbul

Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich now lives in Istanbul after he sold the club last year, it has been reported.

The Russian billionaire initially took over the Blues in 2003, ushering in an era of financial dominance that English football had not seen before.

He appointed Jose Mourinho as manager in 2004, with the Portuguese going on to lift two Premier League trophies.

The Champions League, however, eluded Abramovich's grasp until 2012, when Roberto Di Matteo's unfancied side defeated Bayern Munich in the final. A second European Cup was delivered nine years later, when Thomas Tuchel's side triumphed against Manchester City in Porto.

Over his time at Chelsea, Abramovich spent over £2 billion on players - and his big-money spending began to be replicated by other clubs further down the line.

Nine months on from that Champions League triumph, the Russian was sanctioned by the UK government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The UK Prime Minister at the time, Boris Johnson, said (as per The Guardian) that the government had obtained 'clear evidence' that Abramovich was 'connected to the Putin regime'.

Last May, Chelsea was sold to a consortium co-led by Todd Boehly for £4.25 billion - a world-record fee at the time for a sports club. A spokesperson for Abramovich said (via The Athletic) that the funds from the sale would be 'earmarked for [a charitable] Foundation'.

A year on, the Russian reportedly lives a different life to before.

Abramovich 'new life' reported

According to a report from the Daily Mirror, Abramovich is now living in the Anadolu Hisari neighbourhood in Istanbul, Turkey - the city that hosted last weekend's Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan.

The report claims that, according to the head of the Istanbul Real Estate Brokers Club, Abramovich started paying £40,000 a month for a house, described as a 'modern mansion', in the area late last year.

It is added, however, that residents have not responded to questions about the former Chelsea owner when asked.

There were reports that Abramovich was looking to acquire a football club in the city - but these were branded as 'entirely false' by a spokesperson.

Announcing the UK sanctions against Abramovich and six other oligarchs last year, a UK government statement read: "As part of the UK's leading efforts to isolate Putin and those around him, these oligarchs - who have a collective net worth of around £15 billion - will have their assets in the UK frozen, they are banned from travelling here and no UK citizen or company may do business with them."
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