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Dhaka Tribune

End of an era as Abramovich puts Chelsea up for sale

Abramovich took over Chelsea in 2003

Update : 24 Mar 2022, 04:47 PM

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said Wednesday he would sell Chelsea Football Club, 19 years after buying the London side, and promised to donate money from the sale to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

Amid calls for Abramovich to be hit by sanctions after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the 55 year old metals magnate said in a statement that a sale was in the best interests of the reigning European and world football champions.

"In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club's sponsors and partners," he said.

Abramovich said he would not ask for loans he has made to the club - reported to total 1.5bn pounds ($2.0bn) - to be repaid to him and the sale would not be fast-tracked.

He also said he had told his aides to set up a charitable foundation which would receive all net proceeds from the sale.

"The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine," Abramovich said in the statement.

"This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery."

Swiss business tycoon Hansjoerg Wyss told a newspaper earlier that he was considering buying Chelsea from Abramovich who over the weekend said he was stepping back from running the club but made no mention of any plans to change its ownership.

"Abramovich is currently trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly now. I, along with three other people, received an offer Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich," Blick quoted Wyss as saying in an interview published Wednesday. 

Abramovich bought the West London club in 2003 and his investment has helped produce the most successful era in the team's history - winning five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.

The 55-year old, who has Israeli and Portuguese citizenship, became one of Russia's most powerful businessmen by earning fabulous fortunes after the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union. Forbes has put his net worth at $13.3bn.


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