Roman Abramovich has reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea, stating his long-term aim is to keep growing the club on and off the pitch.
The Russian billionaire took ownership of Chelsea in 2003, and his lavish spending has transformed the club into global powerhouses.
Chelsea fans have been able to celebrate regular success, with the club winning five Premier Leagues, five FA Cups and a Champions League since Abramovich took the reins.
2021-22 football season start dates across Europe: Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and more
Abramovich rarely gives interviews, which has often led to speculation about his long-term future to the club.
His commitment has been unwavering in his 18 years in charge, and he has told Forbes that his aim is to oversee continued progress at the club.
“Chelsea has a very rich history, and I feel extremely fortunate to a play a part in that,” he said. “The club was here before me, and will be here after me, but my job is to ensure we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future. That’s why the success of our academy at Cobham is so important to me.
The ambitions are as true now as they were when I first became owner and I hope that can be seen through the work we have been doing on and off the pitch over the last 17 years."
Chelsea played a huge part in helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with the Blues offering accommodation and meals to NHS staff, and Abramovich says it is built into the club to aid society as a whole.
“It was quite clear from the start that we wanted to help,” Abramovich said. “Chelsea is a part of the community and should of course play a role in contributing and helping, in the ways we can. I hope the projects we supported as a club played a role in helping and I am grateful to all the fans who also lent their support to the various club-led initiatives during the pandemic.”
'One of the best' - Guardiola gushes over Haaland
While ploughing huge amounts of money has brought success, failure has not been tolerated. The 14 managers who have passed through the doors can attest to that.
Club legend Frank Lampard was the most recent to be shown the door, but Abramovich was unapologetic for Chelsea’s policies.
“I think we are pragmatic in our choices,” he said. “And we are comfortable making the right changes at the right time to ensure we can achieve our long-term ambitions. I hope it also says something about the clarity of the long-term ambition of the club. Those who join understand the objectives both on the pitch, as well as the wider positive role the club plays in the community.”
'It’s a lot of money for one player' - Haaland cool on talk of £150m Chelsea bid talk
'I am sorry' - Kepa apologises for League Cup substitution drama, commits to Chelsea