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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
Bates backs Roman revolution
New Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
Abramovich has spent big on Chelsea
Chelsea chairman Ken Bates has revealed that there is more to come from the club's new owner Roman Abramovich.

The Russian businessmen has splashed out 58m on bringing six high-quality players to Stamford Bridge and that figure is set to rise with the imminent signing of Parma striker Adrian Mutu.

Bates admitted that Abamovich has sparked an exciting new era at Chelsea where money is no longer a stumbling block to the club's ambitions.

"Roman's financial muscle is shortening our target time to compete with Manchester United and Arsenal," Bates told BBC Five Live.

"Now we'll be able to do it overnight which is great.

"The club also no longer have to budget for a European campaign because the financial implications are no longer there.

"Deeds speak louder than words, he has already invested 250m in this club and I can't see any reason why he should suddenly change that.

"He's the fourth richest man in the world, he's only 36 years old and being involved in Chelsea is just a hobby for him.

"But that is not to say he does not want Chelsea to be as successful as his other businesses and Roman is hoping, like I am, that Chelsea will become an elite club in Europe."

The 71-year-old also quashed speculation that Chelsea's spending spree has not been driven by manager Claudio Ranieri.

Roman looked into investing in Man Utd but he didn't like the atmosphere
Chelsea chairman Ken Bates
The Italian coach is the bookies favourite to be the first Premiership manager to be sacked next season amid rumours that he no longer controls team affairs at Stamford Bridge.

But Bates was quick to reject that, along with further speculation that since his meeting with England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, the Swede was being lined up to replace Ranieri.

"Since the 'Russian Revolution' the new investors have become more closely involved in transfer negotiations because it is their money," explained Bates.

"But they always consult Ranieri which is nice. If you think about it the players Ranieri wanted last summer they were Damien Duff, Geremi and Joe Cole."

"All this speculation about Sven-Goran Eriksson is unfair because he has a job to do with England and so does Ranieri with Chelsea."

Chelsea chairman Ken Bates
"I'm staying on as chairman until 2005"

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