Roman Abramovich has confirmed he is selling Chelsea Football Club.
Earlier this week, Labor MP Chris Bryant used parliamentary privilege to also reveal Abramovich was selling his UK home and another flat, telling the House of Commons the Russian billionaire was “terrified of being sanctioned”.
The Chelsea owner is now looking to sell the club, with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss saying he has been offered the chance to buy the club.
Abramovich owes Chelsea £1.5billion after buying the club in a £140million deal in 2003, but says he will not seek repayment of any of the loans.
He says the sale of Chelsea ‘will not be expedited but will follow due process’.
“For me it was never about business or money, but pure passion for the game and the club,” Abramovich said.
Abramovich’s full statement
I would like to address the speculation in the media in recent days regarding my ownership of Chelsea FC. As I said before, I have always taken decisions in the interests of the club. In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe it is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the sponsors and partners of the club.
The sale of the club will not be accelerated but will follow a regular procedure. I will not ask for any loan repayment. It was never about business or money for me, but pure passion for the game and the club. In addition, I have instructed my team to create a charitable foundation where all net profits from the sale will be donated. The foundation will benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing essential funds for the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting long-term recovery work.
Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it hurts me to part ways with the club in this way. However, I think it is in the interest of the club.
I hope I can visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to you in person. Being part of Chelsea FC has been the privilege of a lifetime and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.
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