Chelsea FC is not for sale despite the stunning news that Russian-Israeli owner Roman Abramovich has handed over stewardship of the club to its charitable foundation.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the outbreak of war there, Abramovich – who allegedly has close ties with Moscow and president Vladimir Putin – announced on Saturday that he was taking a step back from the running of the club.
Although he has not yet been targeted for sanctions in response to Putin’s invasion alongside other oligarchs, the decision is said to have been provoked by a desire to protect the club and ensure events in Ukraine do not overshadow the remainder of their season.
A statement from the owner read: “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.”
However, while it has been reported that sports investors and private equity companies – including some from the US – have started to draw up plans for a potential takeover, according to the Evening Standard Abramovich has no intention of selling despite distancing himself from the club.
Key decisions will not be made by the trustees of Chelsea‘s charitable foundation, which is headed by club chairman Bruce Buck. Transfers and head coach Thomas Tuchel’s future will be handled by director Marina Granovskaia and club legend technical advisor Petr Cech.
Abramovich’s monumental statement came less than 24 hours before Chelsea face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final.
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