Helsea have released an official statement from the club “praying for peace” amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Premier League club remains under the ownership of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who ceded his “management” of the Blues on Saturday evening.
Just twelve hours after Abramovich’s decision, Chelsea made clear their desire for ‘peace’ in Ukraine – but refrained from mentioning Russia or Vladimir Putin in their statement.
He said: “The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating. Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.
The statement comes on the morning of Chelsea’s game against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
Abramovich has long been linked to Russian President Putin, which he vehemently denies. Labor MP Chris Bryant questioned his ownership of the Blues during the week – naming him in a leaked Home Office report as a person of interest in anti-corruption investigations.
The club is now under the control of the Chelsea Charitable Foundation and its six trustees; including chairman Bruce Buck, women’s head coach Emma Hayes, anti-racism campaigner Piara Powar and former sports minister Sir Hugh Robertson.
A statement from Abramovich released by the club read: “In my almost 20 years as owner of Chelsea FC, I have always considered my role as the club’s caretaker, whose job it is to ensure that we achieve as much as we can today, as well as build for the future, while playing a positive role in our communities.
“I have always made decisions in the interest of the club. I remain committed to these values. That is why I entrust today to the trustees of the Chelsea Charitable Foundation the management and care of Chelsea FC.
“I think they are currently in the best position to defend the interests of the club, the players, the staff and the supporters.”