Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich has announced he is handing over the reins of the club to the “trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation” amid Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
Abramovich released a statement on Saturday night, February 26, that he was handing the “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation.
But the Russian billionaire will remain Chelsea owner having invested over £1billion into the Stamford Bridge club since purchasing it in 2003. He will not be asking the club to repay the loans it owes him, meaning the long-term future of the club remains secure.
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.”