The Russian billionaire has avoided Britain for months and is preparing his finances to skirt the threat of American sanctions.
In late August, as supporters of Chelsea Football Clubassembled at Stamford Bridge stadium to watch their team beat London rival Arsenal, a group in the upper deck unfurled a 40-foot blue-and-red banner. “The Roman Empire,” it shouted, beside an image of the team’s owner, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Just below, another banner trumpeted “15 Years, 15 Trophies.” Abramovich didn’t attend the game that day. In fact, he hasn’t been seen in London since the U.K. government failed to renew his visa in the spring, not long after it accused Russia of using a deadly nerve agent on British soil and relations between London and Moscow plunged into crisis. (Read more….)