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Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich surrenders Club to UK trustees

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Roman Abramovich, the Russian business magnate, has surrendered control of his UK football club Chelsea to a foundation.

A statement issued by Mr Abramovich on Saturday said he had decided to end control of the club after nearly 20 years.

His decision came amidst clamour for Chelsea and other assets run by Mr Abramovich in the UK to be confiscated over his ties to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who recently ordered the invasion of independent Ukraine.


See the full statement issued by Mr Abramovich and published on the Chelsea 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. 

But Abramovich will remain Chelsea owner and the Russian billionaire, who has invested over £1billion into the Stamford Bridge club since purchasing it in 2003, will not be asking the club to repay the loans it owes him - meaning the long-term future of the club remains secure.

It is also understood that Abramovich remains adamant that Chelsea is not for sale.


Who are the Chelsea Foundation trustees?

  • Bruce Buck, Chelsea chair
  • John Devine, partner at sports legal firm Muckle LLP
  • Emma Hayes, Chelsea Women manager
  • Piara Power, chair of anti-discrimination network FARE
  • Paul Ramos, Chelsea finance director
  • Sir Hugh Robertson, former Sports Minister

So who is now in charge at Chelsea?

Abramovich's statement has been criticised by Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards with the former England defender asking: "There's so many questions which need to be asked, and to come out with a statement just like that; what does it even mean?

"If you read it, it reads like it's written in a code - we don't exactly want to tell you what's happening, but here you go, read this, pick the bones out of it and see exactly what it means.

"I think it's poor."


It is understood Abramovich will no longer be involved in club matters on a day-to-day basis and all long-term strategic decision-making powers are being handed over to the Chelsea Foundation.

The Chelsea Foundation's trustees are Bruce Buck, John Devine, Emma Hayes, Piara Powar, and Hugh Robertson.

For transfers, executive director Marina Granovskaia, technical advisor Petr Cech and head coach Thomas Tuchel will continue to operate within the budgets set by the club.

"As far as football matters are concerned, nothing changes," reported Solhekol.

Chelsea face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.


Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich is a Russian oligarch, billionaire, businessman, and politician. Abramovich enriched himself in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, obtaining Russian state-owned assets at prices far below market value in Russia's controversial loans-for-shares privatization program.

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