The history of modern English football as we know it could have been drastically altered had it not been for Swiss bankers.
That is the claim made in one new book which has revealed Roman Abramovich was steered away from buying Arsenal before settling for a £140million takeover at Chelsea back in 2003.
The Russian billionaire transformed the landscape of English football when he brought the Blues from Ken Bates.
But he might have stumped up the cash for the red-half of north London had he not been warned off by Swiss investment banking experts USB.
According to claims in new book The Club , written by two Wall Street Journal writers, Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, Abramovich was told to avoid wasting any of his time with Arsenal – because they ‘were not on the market’.
According to The Sun , one of the key findings identified to Abramovich was that “Arsenal were categorically not for sale.”
The new book – on sale now – added that former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein believed that the Gunners top brass would have seriously considered a bid from Abramovich. But it never materialised.
The Blues have enjoyed their most successful period in their history under the Russian’s tenure.
Abramovic, 52, has invested a huge slice of his personal fortune to transform the club into one of the biggest in the world.
While he has had a reputation for hiring and firing some of the biggest name managers in football, Chelsea have won the Premier League title five times and one Champions League since his arrival.
The book, meanwhile, adds that he was put off from buying Tottenham Hotspur before he got his cheque book out for Chelsea.
It claims that Abramovich decided against purchasing Spurs after a car journey nearby its White Hart Lane home.
- The Club: How the Premier League Became the Richest, Most Disruptive Business in Sport, by Joshua Robinson and Jonathan Clegg, £20 John Murray publishers