Here’s an interesting little tidbit: apparently BP’s CEO Tony Hayward held one intense meeting with Russian energy executives over the fate of the TNK-BP joint venture during yesterday’s Champions League match between Gazprom-sponsored Schalke 04 and Abramovich’s Chelsea club (the match was an 0-0 draw). Hayward seems to have inherited a long history of direct pandering to the Russian government from his predecessor Lord Browne, who before the infamous gay sex scandal put up a bid for stolen Yukos assets and threw away $1 billion to save Rosneft’s failing IPO in London. Presumably they were instructed by the siloviki to make these inadvisable moves, or else face losing their controlling stake in the Kovykta field due to regulatory gangsterism. Now with the future of TNK-BP in the lurch, that appeasement strategy seems to have worked out brilliantly. Such a pity that this season England is losing to Russia both on and off the football pitch. Expect Gazprom to hold the reigns over at TNK-BP very soon.