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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Recommend reading this..
This was bought for me as a present and I haven't put it down yet. I know nothing about the man, chelsea (or football in general really) nor Russian politics. If you'd like to know more about all these things then its a great read. It does tend to stay clear of Abramovich himself for a significant amount of the book by discussing the circumstances around him. However,...
Published on 28 April 2005 by Mul

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Although most of the bits about Abramovich I didn't know were interesting I was alarmed about the number of factual errors relating to Chelsea FC. Adrian Mutu has never played for Real Madrid (and is definately not 30) and Frank Lampard was not purchased during the Abramovich era (these errors stand out amongst others). I was left wondering that if the authors couldn't...
Published on 17 Feb 2005 by I. F. Ronayne


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 17 Feb 2005
By 
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
Although most of the bits about Abramovich I didn't know were interesting I was alarmed about the number of factual errors relating to Chelsea FC. Adrian Mutu has never played for Real Madrid (and is definately not 30) and Frank Lampard was not purchased during the Abramovich era (these errors stand out amongst others). I was left wondering that if the authors couldn't get these simple (and easily checked) facts right then how am I to trust everything else they've written. Maybe it's just a lack of attention to detail but it's still disappointing.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful account of a villain, 14 Dec 2004
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
This is a useful account of the career of Roman Abramovich. In the 1990s, Russia's new capitalist class seized through privatisation the enormous wealth that the country's workers had produced during the Soviet generations.
Abramovich always attaches himself to powerful patrons. In the early 1990s, he befriended President Boris Yeltsin's crony Boris Berezovsky. In 1995, Berezovsky loaned the government $100 million for 51% of Sibneft ('Siberian Oil'), Russia's sixth biggest oil company worth $2.8 billion then (and $15 billion in 2003), and sold it to himself in another sham auction 18 months later for $110 million. Abramovich owned all the bidders in the auction. They robbed the government of $2.7 billion.
Russia's Audit Chamber reported that the sale was conducted with 'multiple legal violations' and 'should be considered invalid'. In 2003, Berezovsky had to flee Russia, and the Blair government gave him political asylum. Labour loves billionaires, however dodgy.
Abramovich broke company law by selling shares in Noyabrsk, Sibneft's extraction arm, to Sibneft at discount. The buyers transferred their shares to Sibneft two months later. He conned workers out of their share vouchers and slashed their wages.
Putin set up tax havens inside Russia, whereby regional governors could offer inward investors huge tax breaks. Abramovich took advantage of this by becoming governor of the province of Chukotka. He evaded regional taxes on Sibneft's profits by selling oil at discount to its subsidiary in Chukotka, which would then sell it to the end user at the higher market price. This gained Abramovich $500 million, far more than he spent on Chukotka, about $230 million. So the region lost $270 million net from his governorship. 'Profit not production' is Russia's mantra nowadays, and not just Russia's.
Abramovich is one of Britain's richest men, worth 7.5 billion at 38 years old. He famously bought Chelsea Football Club in July 2003, which a fellow-capitalist called 'the cheapest insurance policy in history'. The Financial Services Authority is still investigating the insider dealing on Chelsea shares, and seven dodgy offshore trusts' ownership of Chelsea shares. All great fortunes begin in crime.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Recommend reading this.., 28 April 2005
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
This was bought for me as a present and I haven't put it down yet. I know nothing about the man, chelsea (or football in general really) nor Russian politics. If you'd like to know more about all these things then its a great read. It does tend to stay clear of Abramovich himself for a significant amount of the book by discussing the circumstances around him. However, still very interesting. Only half way through, but very good.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting, 7 Jan 2005
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
This is quite an interesting, well written book.How accurate it is remains something only Roman could answer. It seems to be universally accepted that Abramovich took the Russian state for a ride in his acquisition of Sibneft and there is no question that the guy is shady to say the least. However, on the football side there are factual inaccuracies and an overuse of quotes from Mark Lawrenson (who talks nothing but rubbish)so it leads me to question how precise the other facts are.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A secretive subject makes for a rather thin expose, 9 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
I am fascinated both by Roman Abramovich and by Russian politics and buisness of the 90's, so this book should have been perfect for me. However, allthough I enjoyed it, I can't help feeling that it is a little surface to say the least. Much has been made of Abramovich's reclusive and publicity shy nature and that view of him is certainly backed up by that lack of any really revealing information in this book. If you know even a bit about him, then you probably know everything in this book. If you're enough of a Chealsea fan to buy this book then you DEFINATLY know all the football stuff. The book never really gives you a coherent picture of what Abramovich is really like, or why it is that he is able to withstand the unbelivable pressures of his status. There are definatly parts of the book that feel very much like desparate padding, for example a chapter on Jewish history and politics in Russia, while interesting, is not really much to do with Abramovich. He dosen't seem much for religion and has even married a non jewish Russian woman, well I assume she's a non Jew, but this is not discused which tells you a deal about how much they know aobut his feelings towards his race, despite writing a huge chapter on it.
Despite these critisms, I enjoyed this book, it's easy to read, and the chapter where the authors visit one of Sibneft's far flung extraction centres is particularly revealing in a reading between the lines way. But, I simply don't feel as if I know anything more about the man after reading this book, if anything he's more of a mystey than ever.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery unveiled, 21 Dec 2004
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
Even if you are not a Chelsea fan, this book is a fascinating look into the power behind the scenes in post-communist Russia
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hasn't got the lingo., 17 Dec 2010
By 
C. Skillen - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
The fact that the author can't even pronounce the name 'Abramovich' tells us all we need to know about this book. I see Russian TV is claiming that the book is a UK best seller. Hmmm. Well, if you consider not quite making it into the top 200,000 titles...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 7 Dec 2004
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
If you think this book is going to be about nothing but Chelsea, think again. I nearly didn't buy it having seen it in the Sports section of different bookshops but am glad I did. Although there are a few chapters about Chelsea and Abramovich's other team, CSKA Moscow, it is more a biography of Abramovich and how he amassed his billions through buying a mass of companies ranging from oil companies to Bacon factories - all at knockdown prices. Pretty surprising, considering he started out in business selling dolls.
The book is well researched and extremely readable, although sometimes it does digress into the intrigue of Russian politics. On the whole it is a worthy read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 10 Jan 2012
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
After ordering this, I received the book very quickly - within two days. Packaging was great. Shows how the person values her customers. Anyway looking forward to reading this book. Thanks
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars easy night reading, 3 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Abramovich: The Billionaire from Nowhere (Library Binding)
The book highlights the major events of the biography of Roman Abramovich, however many moments are disputable. Authors did fail to present any reasonable refferences and/ or justifications of the facts of Abramovichs' life (all they did was an analysis of western books on Russias' oligarchy and "Moscow digger"), so basically the book is a fairy-tale, and it is impossible to state whether the actions did take place. Half of the book is about FC Chealsea, discussing the events of 2003-2004.
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