Birch brought Roman Abramovich to Chelsea in his £140million takeover in 2003.
“The problem is that fewer and fewer local people want to be involved in football because of the attention it attracts,” he told the London Evening Standard. “When I was chief executive at Leeds, there was a property developer who was quite keen. But he said, ‘Trevor, I couldn’t put the family through it. I couldn’t walk down the street with somebody attacking me saying, ‘You’re not investing enough money. Or my kids being abused on Facebook or Twitter.’ Social media is so invasive, it frightens away an awful lot of domestic buyers.”