Roman Abramovich was forced to put Chelsea for sale ever since Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine put international spotlight on his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The oligarch was subsequently hit with sanctions by the UK in March, making the sale trickier than anticipated.
Now, he has released a new statement via Chelsea in which the Russian oligarch tries to set the record straight, including maintaining that the intention to give part of the proceeds from the sale of the club to charitable causes still remains.
The statement also goes on to deny that Abramovich has asked for the club’s debt to be repaid. In addition, the news about him increasing the price of the club also appears to be false, according to the statement.
“Since the initial announcement, Mr Abramovich’s team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organizations who have been tasked with forming a Foundation and setting out a plan for its activities. The lead independent expert has had conversations with Government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans.
“Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him – such suggestions are entirely false – as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the Club last minute. As part of Mr Abramovich’s objective to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, he has however encouraged each bidder throughout this process to commit investing in the Club – including in the Academy, Women’s team, necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of Chelsea Foundation.
“To be clear, Mr Abramovich has no access or control of these funds and will not have any access or control of these funds following the sale. Despite the changing circumstances since his initial announcement – he remains committed to finding a good custodian for Chelsea FC and making sure the proceeds go to good causes.” read the statement on Chelsea’s official website.
Chelsea’s takeover is finally close to completion since the process began two months ago, with American businessman Todd Boehly chosen as the preferred bidder by The Raine Group.