CHELSEA’S billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was in the stands to watch his club for just the second time in the last year.
The Russian, who is worth around £10.7billion, has not been attending games at Stamford Bridge because of his UK visa issues.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was at the Red Bull Arena to watch the Blues[/caption]
But the Blues owner is said to still be committed to the club – despite scrapping plans for a new £1billion stadium.
Mr Abramovich was banned from entering the country and later pulled his application for a new visa and instead now has Israeli citizenship.
Chelsea made a statement in May to declare that they were no longer revamping Stamford Bridge, making the decision due to an “unfavourable investment climate.”
And as well as being seen at the Europa League final in May, Abramovich made an appearance at the Red Bull Arena in Austria, to watch new manager Frank Lampard in action for the first time.
He surely would have liked what he saw in the first-half, the Blues dominating and taking a 3-0 lead in the first 45.
New £58million signing Christian Pulisic was especially impressive, scoring two excellent goals and winning a penalty, which was smartly converted by Ross Barkley.
The game finished 5-3 with Pedro scoring a truly brilliant back-heel volley and Michy Batshuayi adding late on.
Abramovich, 52, did not attend a single game in the UK in 2018-19 amid tensions between Downing Street and the Kremlin.
In fact, his last game at Chelsea’s home ground is believed to be in May 2017.
Last season he didn’t even bother renew his corporate box, close to the halfway line.
Mr Abramovich will be allowed to visit the UK visa-free for up to six months at a time with his new Israeli passport – but he can’t work here.
Overseas tycoons can pick up an investor visa if they vow to spend more than £2million on the UK economy.
They may also need to prove at least £2million of their investment in the UK is from legal sources.
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An Israeli government spokesperson said in May: “Roman Abramovich arrived at the Israeli embassy in Moscow like any other person.
“He filed a request to receive an immigration permit, his documents were checked according to the law of return, and he was indeed found eligible.”
The new stadium, said to resemble “a temple”, was granted planning permission almost 18 months ago and has been signed off by the Mayor of London.
It was meant to have been completed by season 2021-22.