The former owner of Chelsea Football Club, Ken Bates, has revealed he has no sympathy for his successor, Roman Abramovich, after the Premier League disqualified him as a director of the club.
Bates famously bought Chelsea for £1 in 1982 before selling to Abramovich 19 years later in a deal reported to be worth around £140million.
The UK government sanctioned Abramovich after claiming to have proved his direct links to Putin’s Russian regime, although Chelsea’s owner has always denied any association.
Amidst the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Abramovich has been slammed a heavy sanction by the British government, stalling his plan to sell the cub which is now worth around £4bn.
Speaking to Daily Mail, Bates said, "Selling it to a Russian was the same as selling to anybody else,' Bates says. 'It was no different in those days. The dealings I had with him were always straightforward and simple."
On the Russian-Israeli billionaire's asset freeze, Bates said, "I don't feel sympathy for him. Why should I? He's worth £7-8billion. But he can only eat steak and chips twice a day, the same as me. When he goes to his grave, his shroud won't have any pockets in it."
While Bates agree with Abramovich's asset freeze, Bates slammed the effect it's having on Chelsea fans and staff with tickets sales frozen, club facilities shut and jobs said to be at risk.
"The fact that you can't buy a Chelsea match programme must mean that Putin is s*****g himself and all the ordinary people of Moscow are hiding in their cellars because they can't see a Chelsea match on TV," Bates said, speaking from his home in Monte Carlo.
"As usual it is the ordinary people who are suffering. You've probably got people working at Chelsea saying do they have a job? What is their future? Do they have security? And fans at Chelsea. What have they got to do with Putin bombing maternity hospitals in Ukraine?
"That is hurting ordinary, English citizens. Makes no difference at all to Russia. It makes the Civil Service a laughing stock of the world. I've dealt with civil servants most of my life and, by and large, they're all bloody useless.
"Abramovich turned around and said, "I'm going sell the club and whatever I get I'm going to give to charity." They [the Government] have taken over the club. Fine. Why didn't they appoint an administrator and get on with it?
"Instead we've got all these regulations, which just get some good headlines. 'England takes firm action against Russia.' If we are trying to help Ukraine we should be doing things that are meaningful."