Repercussions from the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led Roman Abramovich to put Chelsea up for sale, and the owner claims he’s setting up a foundation for victims of the war.
Abramovich has been under intense scrutiny since Russian president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, beginning a bloody war that has inspired widespread condemnation around the globe.
UPDATE (March 4): Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak said on Friday that he has tabled an offer (amount currently unknown) to Abramovich, hoping to buy the Premier League giant before other prospective buyers get involved and drive up the price. Through a representative, Bayrak, whose net worth is reportedly in the neighborhood of $11 billion, confirmed the offer:
“Yes, we definitely confirm. We have forwarded our offer regarding this to them.”
One report claims that Abramovich is seeking an eye-popping $5.3 billion for the London giants, while our partners at Sky Sports say he is worries about sanctions that could come due to Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Below is the full statement from Chelsea’s soon-to-be former owner.
Full statement from Roman Abramovich (Chelseafc.com)
“I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC. 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.