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01/04/2013 - 05:00 BST

Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Lines Up Sensational Takeover of Annan Athletic


Monday, April Fools’ Day, 2013

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is planning to snap up Scottish Third Division club Annan Athletic, after being left speechless at the minnows’ 2-1 victory away at Rangers last month.

Abramovich, who has grown disinterested with Chelsea, has opted to lavish his considerable wealth on Annan, with the aim of establishing the side in the Scottish Second Division.

The Russian billionaire is not thought to have decided yet whether he will continue to back Chelsea, with one option on the table for the oligarch believed to be transforming the Stamford Bridge club into a "feeder team" for Annan.

Abramovich is also understood to be confident that Annan will prove to be an extremely marketable side and the Russian is already planning to open official club shops as far afield as Orkney and the Faroe Islands.

The Chelsea owner has yet to make a decision over the future of current Annan boss Jim Chapman, but is toying with the idea of appointing David Pleat as director of football above the 47-year-old, while Ron Atkinson could be installed as joint-first team coach alongside long-time friend Steve Bleasdale, to bring vast experience to Galabank.

Annan’s stadium has also not escaped Abramovich’s attention, and the Russian is ready to transform the ground into a modern arena, seating 3,500 and featuring a retractable pitch, which can be replaced with an ice curling sheet, with the eventual aim being to host the Curling World Championships.

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