Chelsea to be most successful football club in the world

Roman Abramovich turned Chelsea from an underachiever into a club that dominates England and Europe. He wants it to stay like that for another 100 years. Since Abramovich took over as owner, buying out Ken Bates three seasons ago and paying off the club's 80 million pound (US$140.8 million) debts, Chelsea has spent 300 million pounds (US$528 million) on 20 new players.

"We aim to retain the Premiership and get to the Champions League final," Abramovich wrote in the foreword to the book "Chelsea FC, The Official Biography". Excerpts appeared Friday in The Sun newspaper from the book, which is published Monday.

"In the long term, our strategy is to build the most successful football club in the world and everything we have done so far is geared to this. I hope to carry this forward in the true blue tradition of Chelsea but also build even stronger foundations to last us the next 100 years.

"When I became involved in Chelsea, I had little idea how much joy and excitement it would bring me."

Chelsea, which was founded in 1905, won the league for the first time in 50 years last season and has reached the Champions League semifinals the last two seasons, the AP reports.

"I can think of no more fitting tribute to our centenary season than to enter it as the Premiership champions," wrote Abramovich, who rarely speaks in public. "That is like a dream come true.

"It was 50 years since our previous title and everybody's working hard to ensure we will not have to wait that long again."

Chelsea leads the Premier League by nine points after nine matches.