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Billionaire oligarch opens up new football cash front

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Up to now billionaire Russian oligarchs have invested in top clubs like Chelsea.  But now Suleiman Kerimov is pumping money into a relatively unknown club that finished 14th in Russia's 16-team premier league last season.


Anzhi Makhachkala is located in the war-torn north Caucusus region of Dagestan.   Mr Kerimov spent $100m of his own money on the club and plans a €1bn investment programme over the next five years including a state-of-the-art stadium and five-star hotels.   He is a mysterious Russian oligarch with assets in the metals and fertilisers sector.   His wealth is estimated at $7.8bn by Russian Forbes.


His latest player acquisition is Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o who he has made the world's highest paid footballer.  His expected annual salary of €20m is well above the money earned by the next two top paid players, Cristiano Ronado of Rea Madrid and Lionel Messi of Barcelona.   The transfer fee paid to Inter Milan is thought to be around €25m and will help the Italian club cut losses which amounted to around €70m last year.