Shakeup in British Soccer

Roman Abramovich, the wealthy Russian businessman who bought control of Chelsea Football Club in July, has pulled off another shocker. On Sept. 9 he lured away Peter Kenyon, CEO of Manchester United PLC, Britain's best-known and best-managed sports business. Abramovich has spent $170 million on high-profile players since completing the Chelsea deal for an estimated $210 million.

Analysts speculate that Abramovich may be hoping that Kenyon, a former marketing executive, can repeat the successes he achieved at Man U in boosting the team's brand by selling shirts and other products around the globe. Abramovich's spending is likely to put further pressure on British clubs, several of which are struggling under soaring player costs.

Edited by Rose Brady

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