Real estate mogul Wang Jianlin’s return to Chinese football, after pulling out of the Super League 13 years ago, was heralded as a new day for one of the world’s more underwhelming competitions. Being a rich guy buying into football kinda makes him like Roman Abramovich.
But Wang Jianlin is offended that you would makes such a comparison because he is nothing like Roman Abramovich and you insult him by saying otherwise. Wang Jianlin is much better than Roman Abramovich, in every way you can imagine. Or in every way that is important to oligarchs and/or magnates of immeasurable wealth with an interest in football.
“It’s absolutely an insult to compare me with Abramovich,” Wang said in an interview with state-owned broadcaster CCTV. “Abramovich became a millionaire overnight by embezzling state-owned assets, while I made my fortune in the market.”
“In terms of moral conduct, I’m also far better than Abramovich, who leads a life of debauchery,” he added. “In terms of wealth, I don’t know if he is richer than me. So I say the comparison is an insult.”
Abramovich definitely benefited from the privatization of Russian industry, so it’s hard to argue with Wang Jianlin there. Without knowing exactly how he “made his fortune in the market.”
Roman is known as the guy who throws lavish parties and who built a club under Stamford Bridge, so again, Wang Jianlin might have him on “moral conduct.” Especially since Wang donated $197 million to charity last year and Roman donated mostly to the personal accounts of questionable people like John Terry and Ashley Cole.
When it comes to who has more cash, after reaching a certain level of fortune, rich guys getting sensitive about their wallet size is a little pathetic.
For what it’s worth, Abramovich is listed at the 53rd richest man in the world by Forbes, and Jianlin is somewhere in the 200s. Score one for Roman.