The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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If we fail, I’ll spend more, says Roman

London: Chelsea’s Russian oil billionaire owner Roman Abramovich said on Tuesday if his expensively assembled side failed on the pitch he would go out and spend more.

The 36-year-old told the BBC in his first television interview since buying the club for £140million last month that he had also been surprised by the amount of attention he had received since taking over.

“I haven’t thought about how much money I am going to spend,” he said.

“But if I think we need another player because we are not getting the results on the pitch then I will spend the money required.

“I must say I didn’t realise that my buying of Chelsea would receive so much attention, but then football is like a religion in England and I suppose it was merited.”

Abramovich rejected criticism from some Russians that he should have invested the money in a team in his homeland.

“Some people, who call themselves Russian patriots, thought I should have spent the money in Russian sport.

“However it is not a free country like in England and we are not used to people spending money on sports teams.”

Abramovich has lavished £36.9 million since he bought the club on new signings.

Their four new recruits are Southampton’s Wayne Bridge (£7 million), Blackburn Rover’s Irish winger Damien Duff (£17 million), Real Madrid’s Cameroon midfielder Geremi (£6.9 million) and West Ham’s teenage full-back Glen Johnson (£6 million).

He has also tabled a £15million bid for Argentinian international midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, though the 28-year-old’s club Manchester United have told them to raise their bid.

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