Roman Abramovich: Chelsea owner 'shocked' by racist abuse of players

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
Abramovich has been Chelsea owner since 2003

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich says he is "shocked" by the racist abuse some of his players receive.

The Russian billionaire has vowed to do all he can to stamp out the "evil" of racism in football.

Blues full-back Reece James was racially abused on Instagram this year.

"Racism, anti-Semitism, this is all the same type of evil and should have no place on our world at this day and age," Abramovich, who is Jewish, told Forbes Magazineexternal-link.

"Every time I get sent examples of racist abuse that our players face, I am shocked. It's disgraceful that this is the reality for not just our players, but for anyone targeted by this sort of abuse.

"If we as a club can make a difference in this area, in fighting anti-Semitism, racism and promoting tolerance, I am determined to stand behind it and contribute in whatever way I can."

Abramovich has funded the club's 'No To Hate' campaignexternal-link which provides education courses and also looks at dealing with all aspects of racism and discrimination, including creating a positive social media environment.

In on-field matters, the 54-year-old said Chelsea's success justified the high turnover of managers since he bought the club in 2003.

The Blues have had 14 bosses since then but won 16 major trophies, including five Premier League crowns, the Champions League and the Europa League twice.

"I think the trophies speak for themselves and show what we have been able to achieve, and it's my goal for us to keep winning trophies and build for the future," Abramovich said.

"Chelsea has a very rich history, and I feel extremely fortunate to play a part in that. The club was here before me and will be here after me, but my job is to ensure we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future.

"I think we are pragmatic in our choices. And we are comfortable making the right changes at the right time to ensure we can achieve our long-term ambitions. Those who join understand the objectives on the pitch and the community."

Chelsea Women celebrate the League Cup success
Chelsea Women have won nine trophies since Emma Hayes took over in 2012

And Abramovich added that women's football can be just as lucrative as the men's game if it is given the same financial backing.

Chelsea are Women's Super League champions and are top of this season's standings having already won the League Cup and reached the Champions League quarter-finals under Emma Hayes.

"I see no reason why clubs wouldn't want to support women's football and provide the best possible opportunity for them to succeed," he said.

"For me, this is both about the principle, but also, women's football has huge potential. If women's football received the same level of support as men's football, the sport would obviously be equally successful on the business side.

"And I think investment pays off. I think their success demonstrates what can be achieved when you dedicate resources and the right leadership. Emma Hayes has been remarkable in her work with the team."

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