UPDATED: Chelsea F.C. has new stewards for the time being.
In a move that is undoubtedly related to the recent invasion of Ukraine, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has given up the supervision of Chelsea F.C., a club he has owned for 20 years, to the charitable foundation of Chelsea.
Pressure has been mounting recently due to his long-held connection with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Amid growing international sanctions against Russia and its oligarchs in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, a member of the British Parliament this week read a leaked 2019 Home Office document linking Abramovich to Putin and “corrupt activity and practices”, questioning whether the billionaire should be allowed in Brattain.
While Abramovich is giving up “the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC,” no mention is made of his ownership in the club.
Chelsea subsequently issued a brief statement about the war that does not mention Abramovich or Russia.
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.
Read Abramovich’s full statement via Chelsea’s website below:
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.