Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich steps back following Russia invasion of Ukraine

In the midst of Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has stated that he will hand over control of the club to “trustees of Chelsea’s philanthropic Foundation.”

On Saturday night, February 26, Abramovich announced that he was handing over “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation.

However, the Russian billionaire will remain Chelsea’s owner, having invested more than £1 billion in the club since 2003.

He will not be pressing the club to repay the money it owes him, ensuring the club’s long-term viability.

He said on Chelsea’s official website: “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.”

Abramovich’s decision to step back comes after several MPs made it clear they thought the Chelsea owner shouldn’t be in charge of the European champions due to his alleged links to Vladimir Putin.

Labour MP Chris Bryant said on Friday that Abramovich’s assets should be seized by the UK over allegations from a leaked 2019 Home Office document.

Bryant told the Commons: “I’ve got hold of a leaked document from 2019, from the Home Office, which says in relation to Mr Abramovich: ‘As part of HMG’s [Her Majesty’s government] Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices.”

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