Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has placed the Chelsea Soccer Club up for sale “in the best interest of the Club,” following the Russian invasion on Ukraine.
“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,” Abramovich announced in a statement on March 2.
Abramovich did not lay out a timetable for the sale but said that it “will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process.”
Abramovich described the decision as “incredibly difficult” that “pains me.”
Abramovich further said that he will not ask for any loans to be repaid and that he instructed his 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,” Abramovich said.
The announcement comes as the fighting between Russia and Ukraine continues.
Abramovich is alleged to have strong ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he has denied this.
Billionaire Hansjorg Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick on March 2 that Abramovich wanted “to get rid of Chelsea quickly” after the British Parliament raised the threat of sanctions.
Wyss also said that he and three other people had been offered the opportunity to purchase the club.
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