Roman Abramovich: A Russian Empire in the heart of London

Roman Abramovich in picture
Credit: Reuters

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Roman Abramovich time in Britain has ended even with the brilliant success his money bought for the Chelsea football club. With so much Russian money pouring into the capital, it came as no surprise that the sanctioned billionaire has a property empire in London with so many houses and plots of land.

The mysterious Russian billionaire has become Britain’s most prominent oligarch after acquiring one of its most renowned sports brands in 2003.

The man who lifted Chelsea to unimaginable heights has had his beloved club essentially stolen from him by harsh Government penalties for his connections to Vladimir Putin, which freeze all his UK assets. On the run from sanctions, he looked weary at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport this week before requesting his own Gulfstream plane to transport him to Moscow.

The UK Private Property Portfolio of Roman Abramovich

According to news reports, Roman Abramovich and his family own 53 British luxury residences valued at over £250 million, a significantly greater portfolio than previously thought.

His business assets include the Kingsmeadow Stadium in Kingston, Chelsea Women play. Mr. Abramovich’s football club also includes an £8.75m flat in Cheyne Terrace and a £2m house in Chobham, Surrey.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project claims he owns the Chateau de la Croe, France’s Cote d’Azur, where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor formerly resided.

When Abramovich bought Chelsea, he was thrust into the center of London society, which looked to be his favorite place in the world. He acquired and sold many outstanding properties, including Mayfair, Knightsbridge, and Chelsea residences.

List of other UK Assets

‘Asset Inventory’ demonstrates that Roman Abramovich’s London property portfolio is far more extensive than previously assumed. Following is some collected information about his UK Assets:

  • The Chelsea owner is said to possess a £150 million property near Kensington Palace and a $22 million apartment on the Thames River.
  • However, according to a recent investigation, he owns more than 70 homes, business buildings, and parcels of land around London and Surrey alone.
  • According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 35 oligarchs are related to $13 billion in worldwide assets.
  • He possesses the world’s largest yacht, the “Roman Abramovich Yacht,” which costs more than $700 million.
  •  Not just this, but he possesses private aircraft, helicopters, and super vehicles worth £1.2 billion, and the list goes on.

How the times have changed – Chelsea Being Sold

With the prospect of sanctions and parliamentary remarks connecting him to corruption and Vladimir, he has placed Chelsea on the market for sale. When just three weeks ago, Chelsea claimed the Club World Cup in UAE, and Abramovich was there to celebrate the victory.

With Abramovich’s expulsion from the United Kingdom looming, Chelsea confronts an unclear future, unable to sell players, tickets, or replica jerseys.

Before the sanctions, Abramovich declared he wanted to sell Chelsea because of the “present circumstances.”  According to Chelsea inside sources, Abramovich was not engaged in politics and had nothing to do with the sanctions, but he was still seeking to sell the team and make a run for it.

As a result of the complex and unofficial ownership arrangements utilized by wealthy Russians to avoid freezing bank accounts or even seizing their properties, the effectiveness of sanctions on him is called into doubt.

Considering the ongoing chaos, The Raine Group, an American merchant bank, will handle this deal. Bidders have don’t have long until to submit their proposals. Only 50 proposals will be shortlisted from the lot.

It is expected that the selected offers will be announced very soon. And following the owner, Roman Abramovich’s sanction, Chelsea’s chairman and director will choose a preferred bidder from Raine’s first selection.

However, Government approval is required for every agreement involving a preferred bidder that has been identified. The club will have to choose another offer if the government rejects this one. Similarly, the club owner can refuse any offer from countries that have placed this sanction on him.


After almost two decades, the billionaire has no other choice but to sell Chelsea. The British government imposed sanctions on him. Putin’s oligarch had no choice but to sell his UK assets, including the Chelsea tea.

The EU has sanctioned Roman Abramovich, joining the UK in imposing travel restrictions and asset freezes. Hundreds of Russians have faced the same sanctions for their links to President Vladimir Putin’s Oligarch. He may not return to London for years, if ever. But most Londoners will know him as the oligarch behind the success of Chelsea football who ended up paying the price for his connections with Putin.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.