Russo-Ukrainian War: Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich decides to sell Chelsea as pressure mounts

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich On Wednesday, he succumbed to mounting pressure to sell English football club Chelsea due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich released a lengthy statement giving his reasons. While he did not ask Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine, he said the proceeds from the sale would go to the benefit of war victims.

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“I would like to address the speculation in the media over the past few days regarding the ownership of Chelsea Football Club,” he said in a statement. “As I mentioned before, I have always made decisions with the interest of the club in mind. In the current situation, I have taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans and staff as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich at the UEFA Women’s Champions League final soccer match in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 16, 2021. (Associated Press/The Associated Press newsroom)

“The sale of the club will not be expedited but will follow due process. I will not ask for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business or money for me, but about pure passion for the game and the club. Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation in which Donate all net proceeds from the sale. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing the necessary funds for urgent and urgent matters. The immediate needs of the victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery. “

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Abramovich, who has a fortune of over $13 billion, bought the club for more than $187 million in 2003.

Here are some more details about Abramovich.

Chelsea success

Chelsea players Romelu Lukaku, Mateo Kovacic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Christian Pulisic celebrate after scoring a goal during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 final match between Chelsea and Palmeiras on February 12, 2022 in Abu Dhabi. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

Abramovich’s cash injection at Chelsea has led to many successes in the field since 2003.

The Blues won five Premier League titles, five FA Cup titles, two Champions League titles, two Europa League titles, and the Club World Cup in 2021.

Among the stars who played for the club during Abramovich’s tenure are Eden Hazard, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Christian Pulisic, Igor Gojohnsen and John Terry.

Abramovich’s fortune

Eclipse, the private luxury yacht of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, docks in Hisaronu Bay in the Marmaris district of Mugla, southwest Turkey on October 19, 2015. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

according to ForbesAbramovich owns stakes in Britain’s Evraz – a steelworks and mining company – and Russia’s Norilsk Nickel – a mining and smelting company. He also sold his 73% stake in Russia’s Sibneft to Gazprom in 2005 for $13 billion. He is also the founder of Millhouse Capital LLC, an investment firm.

Eclipse, the private luxury yacht of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, docks in Hisaronu Bay in the Marmaris district of Mugla, southwest Turkey on October 19, 2015. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

Abramovich also owns one of the largest mega yachts in the world. The Eclipse is 533 feet long and has two helicopter platforms, one small submarine, and three landing craft. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it also has a missile detection system. The yacht can accommodate up to 70 crew members and has 11 cabins.

pressure rises

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, sits in his trunk before the English Premier League football match against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge in London, December 19, 2015. (Associated Press/The Associated Press newsroom)

British legislators were stronger against Abramovich.

While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on individual cases, Labor leader Keir Starmer criticized Abramovich.

“We must stand up to Putin and those who support his regime,” Starmer said. “Roman Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea Football Club and several other high-value assets in the UK. He is a person of interest to the Home Office due to his links to the Russian state and his general association with corrupt activity and practices.”

Labor lawmaker Chris Bryant used parliamentary privilege to argue that Abramovich was already looking to offload other properties in London for fear of sanctions.

“The danger is that Mr. Abramovich has sold everything by the time we move to punish him,” Bryant said.

British commentator Piers Morgan added: “Abramovic is selling Chelsea – but he didn’t say a word to denounce what his colleague Putin did.”

potential buyer

Swiss billionaire Hansgeorg Weiss has told Swiss media that he has received an offer to buy Chelsea with three people. Chelsea and Abramovich’s representatives reportedly did not contest the claim.

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“Abramovic is trying to sell all his villas in England, and he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,” Weiss told Bielik. “Abramović is asking too much at the moment.”

However, Wyss said he wants a kit to help facilitate the purchase. Chelsea is said to be worth about $3.34 billion.

Wysss is an 86-year-old billionaire. His fortune is said to be around $5.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He sold Synthes USA to Johnson & Johnson for nearly $20 billion.

Alleged ties to Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks with Roman Abramovich, governor of Chukotka region, billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, during their meeting in Moscow in an undated photo. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

Abramovich’s relationship with Putin has been highlighted several times over the past decade or so.

According to the book “The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession,” Abramovich suggested to Boris Yeltsin that Putin become the successor as Russian president. He interviewed potential cabinet members before Putin signed them up during his tenure as prime minister.

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In 2012, a London High Court judge noted that Abramovich had “very good relations” and “privileged access” to Putin even though he could not “pull presidential strings”. Abramovich denied this claim.

In 2020, a book published by HarperCollins suggested that Abramovich bought Chelsea FC at Putin’s behest. Abramovich won a lawsuit against the publisher and author and received an apology with references removed, Jerusalem Post mentioned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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