Roman Abramovich has confirmed he’s selling Chelsea Football Club and will donate all net proceeds to supporting victims of Ukraine.
The Russian, who has owned the Blues since 2003, distanced himself from the club over the weekend by handing over his ‘stewardship and care’ to the trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation.
His decision comes amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in which the UK Government has faced calls to freeze Abramovich’s assets, as well as anyone who allegedly has ties with Vladimir Putin, as part of its sanctions against Russia.
Abramovich has always denied any link with Russia’s president but just days after handing over the stewardship of the club he’s now confirmed he’s walking away from the west London outfit.
‘I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC,’ the 55-year-old said in a statement on Wednesday night.
‘As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart.
‘In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.
‘The sale of the Club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club.
‘Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated.
‘The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.
‘This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.
‘Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner.
‘However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club.
‘I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person.
‘It has been a privilege of a lifetime to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements.
‘Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.