“Banks calls for an inquiry”

Former UK sports minister Banks calls for an inquiry into whether Abramovich is worthy of owning an English Premier League club.

I love it. I’d understand if an anti-laundering or anti-corruption unit were involved, but, hey, is it a free market or what? Actually, the Financial Services Authority is indeed going to look at the transaction: there was a sharp rise in Chelsea’s share price before the takeover, indicative of insider trading. It must have been a leak, although how deliberate and to whose benefit, I have no idea.

It seems that Abramovich has spent or will have to spend $233 million to buy 100% of Chelsea and pay off its debts. It’s a serious investment even for a guy worth $5 or $6 billion. “The Yeltsins’ treasurer” might have a long-term plan; perhaps Chelsea is the first paving stone on his escape route.

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