The fortunes of both Chelsea and Tottenham would have been very different had Roman Abramovich not pumped his money into Stamford Bridge.
What actually happened…
Ken Bates was out, Roman Abramovich was in, as Chelsea was taken over in July 2003 soon after the club had secured Champions League football.
After a second-place finish and a Champions League semi-final in his first season, the Russian owner was rewarded with back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006 with Jose Mourinho at the helm.
Abramovich got what he craved most in 2012 when Chelsea became the first club from London to win the Champions League. After ploughing over one billion pounds into the club, he’s collected 18 trophies along the way.
Roman Abramovich has enjoyed plenty of success at Chelsea since taking over in 2003
What if Abramovich opted against Chelsea?
There’s no Jesper Gronkjaer winner in the final game of the 2002/03 season, and Liverpool come out on top in what is billed as the ‘£20m match’. Chelsea miss out on Champions League football with big consequences.
Without the lure of Europe’s premier cup competition, a disgruntled Roman Abramovich decides against buying a club with significant debt.
Instead, his roubles head to north London and Tottenham – a club he’d also been keeping a keen eye on.
Chelsea slip down the table, having offloaded top earners John Terry, Frank Lampard, William Gallas, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Spurs end a 13-year winless run against the struggling Blues in the following season, as the tables turn between the London rivals.