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Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea Football Club

2 mins read
Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea Football Club

The Russian oligarch confirms that the West London Premier League club is up for sale.

Russian businessman and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed that he will be putting Chelsea Football Club up for sale. The decision isn’t a surprising one, given that there have been multiple calls in the UK parliament to put sanctions on the Russian following his native country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich has also announced that all the money from the sale aside from the legal fees will be used “for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.” He has also stated that the £1.5 billion that Chelsea owed him since 2003, he would be writing it off.

Abramovich released a statement that read:
“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, 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.”

Abramovich took over as Chelsea owner in 2003 from Ken Bates and since then has seen a meteoric rise of the club’s women’s and men’s teams. Ever since the breakout of the Ukraine-Russia war, however, the UK government have been trying to sanction him, and if they do so, Chelsea could be deemed as an asset and sold, meaning Abramovich will be unable to fund the club, making any sort of sale complicated.
Just days earlier, Abramovich handed over the stewardship and care of Chelsea to the trustees of the club’s charity arm, the Chelsea Foundation.

It is reported that a consortium led by Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss and LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly is most likely to take over from Abramovich. Abramovich is reportedly seeking around £3 billion for Chelsea, though Wyss has said that the exact amount is not clear.

Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick:
“Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich. I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2bn. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.
“I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners. But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”

The other head party of the consortium seeking to take over is Todd Boehly, who reportedly bid to buy Chelsea in 2019. Boehly is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries, which invests in media and sports among other sectors. Both Wyss and Boehly work together at Eldridge Industries.

The respective futures of Chelsea Director Marina Granovskaia and chairman Bruce Buck are also uncertain.

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