Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea amid Ukraine war

Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea smiles following his team’s victory during the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Estadio do Dragao on May 29, 2021 in Porto, Portugal.

Alexander Hassenstein | Uefa | Getty Images

The Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich said Wednesday that he will sell the Chelsea soccer club in England, a dramatic move that comes in response to outrage over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich at the same time announced that he has instructed the renowned team to set up a foundation that will use all net proceeds of the sale of Chelsea to “benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine.”

Abramovich said in a statement, “As I have stated before, I have always made decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. 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. “

The sale announcement came less than a week after the billionaire said he was transferring stewardship of the club to the trustees of a charitable foundation, and after calls that Abramovich face sanctions from the United Kingdom.

Abramovich bought Chelsea, which is based in London, in 2003. During his tenure, Chelsea has won season titles in England’s top soccer division, the Premier League, five times, and won the prestigious FA Cup the same number of times. Chelsea is currently in third place in the Premier League, behind the leaders Manchester City and Liverpool.

Earlier Wednesday, the Biden administration said it was forming a new task force to enforce US and allied sanctions imposed on Russian officials and oligarchs who have helped the war in Ukraine, which was launched by President Vladimir Putin.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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