Roman Abramovich, a billionaire and one of the world’s wealthiest Russian-born men, was the owner of London’s Chelsea FC soccer team. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian oligarch who owns Chelsea FC in the English Premier League said on Saturday that he is turning over control of the famed soccer team.
He announced his decision in a statement, days after reports questioned whether he could preserve control of the Chelsea team in the wake of unprecedented penalties directed at Putin-friendly Russian oligarchs. According to ESPN, a member of the British parliament has also asked Abramovich to hand over control of the team.
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.
According to Sports Illustrated, Abramovich’s daughter made an anti-Putin remark on social media, although he did not reference Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in his comment. The Union of European Football Associations had earlier confirmed that the Champions League final will be moved to France in May from Saint Petersburg.
Many have spoken out against the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, from The Weeknd and Cardi B to Ashton Kutcher, Sean Penn and David Lynch. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, countries around the world, including the United States, imposed economic penalties on Russia and its billionaire oligarchs linked to Putin.
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