The lawyer of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has told a court that Vladimir Putin had no involvement in his client’s purchase of the West London club in 2003.
British journalist Catherine Belton recently released a book entitled “Putin’s People” documenting Putin’s rise to power, with the book suggesting that Russia’s president had called on Abramovich to buy Chelsea Football Club.
Abramovich bought Chelsea back in 2003 / Ian Walton / Getty Images
The blues owner has, of course, denied such allegations – complaints about 26 excerpts from the book in total – and with court proceedings now underway, Abramovich’s lawyer Hugh Tomlinson has vehemently denied the allegations, adding that his client is not participating in Putin’s plans.
“The average and reasonable reader would inevitably come up with the idea that Roman Abramovich was commissioned to buy Chelsea, so he was used as the acceptable face for a corrupt and dangerous regime,” he said (reported by The Guardian).
“At no stage is the reader told that Abramovich is in fact someone who is distant from Putin and does not participate in the many and varied corrupt systems described. On the contrary, he is described as making corrupt payments.”
A spokesman for Abramovich has also released a statement demanding that the Chelsea owner’s name be cleared immediately, adding that the defense presented in court by Belton’s lawyers does not match what she wrote in the book.
“The defendants stressed that the named individual who suggested that Chelsea Football Club be bought as President Putin’s management was someone ‘inclined to exaggerate his role’ and claimed that readers should take his credibility into account when reading the book,” the statement said. read.
“However, they did not explain why this individual plays such a central role in the book. Although it is helpful to have the defendants’ clarifications – their position in today’s hearing does not correspond to what is actually stated in the book, and further emphasizes the need to correct false and defamatory allegations about Mr Abramovich as soon as possible. “