Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch, has decided to sell Chelsea, according to an official statement released by the Chelsea Twitter account on Wednesday.
The statement read “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,” Abramovich said.
Abramovich has stated that he will not seek repayment for the 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) in loans he has given the club over the course of 19 years of putting money into the club to help it become one of Europe’s most successful.
After winning their second Champions League title last year, the Blues won the Club World Cup for the first time last month in front of Abramovich in Abu Dhabi.
The speed with which Abramovich is leaving Chelsea is remarkable, given that he was attempting to put in place a strategy this past weekend to relinquish some power in order to keep the club under his control. Mr Abramovic also announced that all the net proceeds from the sale of the club will be donated to a foundation that will help the victims of the War in Ukraine.
However, as Russia’s intervention in Ukraine began its seventh day, pressure mounted on the British government to name him among the affluent Russians who would be sanctioned.