Roman Abramovich
Abramovich has made a rare public statement to Chelsea fans

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has broken his public silence to mark 10 years since taking over at Stamford Bridge, prior to the club's opening Premier League fixture of the season against Hull City.

The Russian billionaire, who bought The Blues in July 2003, seldom makes public addresses.

Despite regular and substantial investment, questions have always remained over Abramovich's plans for Chelsea. Since the team has now won every major domestic and European honour, the Russian could be forgiven for seeking fresh pastures.

But his message in the club's match-day programme for the Hull game - the first competitive fixture of Jose Mourinho's second spell as manager - suggests the 46-year-old has long-term plans at Stamford Bridge.

"We have had a great decade together and the club could not have achieved it all without you," Abramovich wrote. "Thanks for your support. Here's to many more years of success."

Chelsea programe
Credit: Chelsea Football Club.

Even though the club have won 11 trophies during Abramovich's 10 years at Chelsea, they have done it under 10 different managers.

Mourinho will begin his second spell in charge this weekend after an acrimonious departure in 2007 amid reports of a breakdown in the relationship between himself and Abramovich.

Those problems are said to have been resolved, but given Abramovich's ruthless reputation - he has sacked Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and most recently Roberto di Matteo - the long-term prospects for Mourinho's second coming are still uncertain.

No club has won more trophies than Chelsea during Abramovich's spell as owner, with three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and last season's Europa League propelling the club to the summit of English and European football.