Chelsea are facing life without a new stadium, top manager or star player if the row over Roman Abramovich’s visa rumbles on, the club’s former chief executive claimed on Friday.
Russian oligarch Abramovich put a stop to Chelsea’s £1billion project to redevelop Stamford Bridge this week in retaliation for the treatment he has received at the hands of the Home Office after his UK visa expired.
Abramovich is now reported to have withdrawn his visa application. And Trevor Birch, the executive responsible for selling Chelsea to Abramovich in 2003, says the Russia diplomatic row risks throwing all of the club’s plans into turmoil.
Ex-Chelsea chief executive Trevor Birch (R) says Roman Abramovich (L) is risking a meltdown
On the field, leading player Eden Hazard has suggested he is not willing to sign a new contract before seeing who Chelsea sign in the summer. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has made similar noises.
There is also uncertainty over the managerial situation, with Abramovich searching for a new boss despite going cold on