Chelsea: Abramovich relinquishes authority to charitable foundation

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has relinquished his position of authority over Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation.

This is as a result of the recent call by the United Kingdom MPs to the House of Commons to seize the Russian assets as a retaliatory step to sanction Russia over the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.

A Labour MP Chris Bryant divulged a document linking Abramovich to corrupt practices and which by the UK laws he should be relieved of his ownership over Chelsea Football Club.

Bryant furthermore revealed that the Russian billionaire in 2018 could not renew his visa had to enter the UK in 2021 as an Israeli citizen. He added that Abramovich has a close relationship with the Russian President.

Consequent to this, Roman Abramovich, who took over the ownership of Chelsea in 2003, announced his withdrawal from the management of the club.

In his statement on Saturday, the Russian billionaire stated that during his reign as the custodian of the club, which has spanned over 19 years, his prime focus was to make sure the club is successful, while also undertaking charitable works in society.

Abramovich said, “During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the club, whose job it is to ensure 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.

According to him, the decision taken to hand over the club to Chelsea’s charitable foundation was necessitated by his genuine intentions to see the club blossom. Moreover, the foundation is the best of options to help build the club.

He said, “I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values.

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“That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea.

“I believe that currently, they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff, and fans,” he added.

However, there have been some reactions over the decision of Roman Abramovich stating that many questions are begging for answers.

With this pronouncement, the Russian billionaire will no longer be involved in the day-to-day and long-term operations of the club.

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