Roman Abramovich hands over Chelsea stewardship and care

Roman Abramovich hands over Chelsea stewardship and care

February 27, 2022

The Russian oligarch remains the owner of Chelsea Football Club.

Premier League club Chelsea FC’s owner Roman Abramovich has handed over the stewardship of the club to the trustees of the club’s charity arm, the Chelsea Foundation. The 55-year-old has taken the decision after a call was made in the UK parliament for sanctions against Russia in light of the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in 2003 from Ken Bates for around £140 million, was called out by Labour MP Chris Bryant, who stated that the United Kingdom should seize the Russian’s assets and remove him from owning Chelsea Football Club. Abramovich, though, can continue to fund Chelsea until he gets sanctioned. He is alleged to have been a close aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin, though Abramovich has always denied these claims and has even stated that he hasn’t done anything for the UK government to merit sanctions against him.

Abramovich has handed over the club’s running to the Chelsea Foundation, which is headed by :

  • Bruce Buck — Chelsea chairman
  • Emma Hayes — Chelsea Women’s manager
  • Piara Powar — Executive Director of Anti-Racism Organisation FARE
  • Paul Ramos — Chelsea’s Director of Finance
  • John Devine — Sports Lawyer
  • Sir Hugh Robertson — British Olympic Association Chairman

The general running of the club, which caters to the footballing decisions, contracts, transfers etc., will continue to be taken care of by Club Director Marina Granovskaia and Technical and Performance Director Petr ?ech, who have already been running and handling these responsibilities for a while now in Abramovich’s stead.

Roman Abramovich released a statement, which read:

During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the Club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities.

I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.

I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the Club, players, staff, and fans.

Under Abramovich’s 19-year stint as club owner, the Chelsea men’s team have won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, two UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Europa League titles, one FIFA Club World Cup and one UEFA Super Cup. 

The women’s team have also seen tremendous success. They have won the FA Women’s Super League five times, the Women’s FA Cup four times and one Women’s FA Community Shield. Since becoming the women’s team’s manager in 2012, Emma Hayes has taken the club to unprecedented heights and seen them become one of the most successful clubs in women’s football history. 

In addition to running two of the most successful teams in football, Abramovich has also invested more than £1billion in the club in order to help it grow. 

With the UK and Russia’s relationship worsening over the last few years, Abramovich had withdrawn his application for a fresh UK investor visa in 2018 and reportedly attended his first Chelsea game at the Stamford Bridge in November 2021. 

Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea FC’s senior men’s team’s coach, also spoke about how the situation is affecting the players, stating:

I am aware of all these scenarios and I am aware of all these discussions at the moment. I would love to take my right not to comment on this until there is a decision made. But we are aware of it and it’s distracting us, it’s worrying us. To a certain degree I can understand the opinions and the critical opinions towards the club, towards us who represent that club. I can understand that and we cannot fully free ourselves from it.

Maybe people understand that me as a coach or the players, we don’t have the insight what is really going on. At the moment we don’t feel responsible for all this. We feel that it is horrible and there can be no doubt about it. War in Europe was unthinkable for me for a long period. The impact is clear and the discussions have an impact. Let’s be a bit more patient and understand what the measurements will be and then we have to maybe deal with it.

I think the situation is too big and it is not an isolated situation somewhere. It concerns Europe, it’s in Europe and we are part of Europe. We cannot say let’s put this to the side. It’s the opposite. We have to live with it right now. There is no running away from it.

There is no shutting the doors and now we focus on football. We are still privileged to live in peace and freedom right here where we are right now. And we are still privileged to have a game of football, to have an emotional but peaceful environment with fans in the stadium.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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