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Russia/Ukraine Crisis: Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich has handed club over to trustees

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Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich has announced he was “giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.”

Roman made this known in a tarse statement published on Chelsea’s 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.

It’s a colossal moment in the club’s history, and it’s taking a while to digest what it means.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine – under the orders of Vladimir Putin, has put Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea under sudden scrutiny, but this is still almost totally unexpected. Labour MPs had begun questioning Russian ownership of clubs in the UK, but it didn’t yet feel like it had the weight to threaten the man who has been in serene command at Chelsea for almost 20 years.

It is likely that he was going to face increasing difficulties as sanctions expanded, so this is perhaps just a way of insulating Chelsea from that to some degree. The fact that the club owes him £1.5bn because of the way his ownership is structured makes things very complicated indeed.

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