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Chelsea is no more than another bauble to Russia's super-wealthy Roman Abramovich

February 16, 2011 |  6:56 pm

The fourth-richest man in Russia counts among his many baubles a little English Premier League soccer team by the name of Chelsea.

But that is far from being the most interesting of Roman Abramovich's many and varied assets.

According to documents released in Moscow, the billionaire includes among his blessings 10 homes in Russia, England, France, the Caribbean and the U.S. Presumably, his ski chalets in Colorado are not worth as much as his $322-million French chateau, but who knows?

Abramovich is said to be worth $11 billion, although he had much more than that to his name before the economic downtturn. Details of his finances were released because the 44-year-old is running for a seat in the Russian parliament from the far Eastern province of Chukotka, where he once served as governor.

We have not mentioned his cars, his yachts or his 22 Russian bank accounts, but the point is made. The $80 million he paid to Liverpool this month to bring Spanish striker Fernando Torres to Chelsea wasn't very much at all.

Unless, of course, you live in Chukotka, where England's Guardian newspaper, which detailed Abramovich's wealth Wednesday, figures the average income to be about $17,720 a year.

To have or have not. Oil truly can make all the difference. Not that Torres has made any yet.

--Grahame L. Jones