(CMR) The Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club Roman Abramovich announced Wednesday that he plans to sell Chelsea Football Club, as it is “in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club's sponsors and partners.”
Last week, the billionaire gave stewardship of the club over to trustees of the club's charitable foundation following Russia's attack on Ukraine.
British Member of Parliament Chris Bryant had called for Abramovich to lose ownership of Chelsea after seeing a leaked 2019 UK government document that named Abramovich as a person of interest due to his “links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices.”
“Surely, Mr. Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country?” Bryant said.
Abramovich has maintained that he's not an official political figure for Russia. Russian oligarchs have been warned that they will not be allowed to thrive off a violent regime.
US President Joe Biden in his State of the Union address Tuesday night said: “Tonight, I say to the Russian oligarchs and the corrupt leaders who built billions of dollars off this violent regime, no more.
“The United States Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of the Russian oligarchs. We're joining with European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets. We're coming for you, ill-begotten gains.”
Abramovich said that the net proceeds from the sale will be donated to a foundation set up to help those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid,” he said in a statement.
“This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club,” he added.
Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has indicated that he wants to buy Chelsea, which according to a Forbes 2021 report was worth $3.2 billion.
There is reportedly no fix selling price; however Wyss reportedly said Abramovivh was asking too much.
Chelsea have won two Champions League trophies, including in 2021, and five English Premier League trophies since Abramovich took ownership of the club in 2003.