Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, has stepped down in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.
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.”
Throughout his time as Chelsea’s manager, the Russian billionaire has kept his ownership of the team a secret.
However, Abramovich said on Saturday night that he was entrusting Chelsea’s “stewardship and care” to the club’s charitable foundation.
On Chelsea’s official website, he stated: “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 comes after some MPs stated that the Chelsea owner should not be in control of the European champions because of his purported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Friday, Labour MP Chris Bryant stated that the UK should seize Abramovich’s assets as a result of claims made in a leaked 2019 Home Office memo.
I’ve got a leaked document from the Home Office from 2019, 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, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and Following the demise of the Soviet Union, Abramovich amassed a fortune and went on to purchase Chelsea in 2003.’
His debut in the Premier League spurred a massive spending frenzy at Chelsea, which saw the club set new expenditure records.
However, after withdrawing his application for a new UK visa in 2018, Abramovich has become a minor figure at Chelsea in recent years.
He was in attendance for Chelsea’s Club World Cup victory earlier this month, as well as the Champions League victory last year.