Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea Football Clubby by Asher Notheis, Breaking News Reporter | · Washington Examiner
Roman Abramovich will sell the Chelsea Football Club, one of the most successful soccer teams in England, he announced on Wednesday.
The billionaire did not specify in his announcement why he is selling the club, only saying he decided to do so in "the current situation" and that he believes his decision "is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners."
"This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner. However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club," he said.
Abramovich, whose net worth is estimated at $12.4 billion, said the sale of the club "will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process." His announcement also added he would not be asking for any loans to be repaid in the purchase.
The Russian oligarch purchased the team for 140 million pounds (more than $187 million) in 2003, but its current estimated worth is 2.5 billion pounds (roughly $3.3 billion) following a string of championship titles.
The billionaire also said his team will establish a charitable foundation that will receive all net proceeds from the sale. The foundation will benefit victims of the war in Ukraine by "providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery," he said.
Abramovich claimed on Monday he was helping with Russia-Ukraine peace talks at the request of the Ukrainians. Over the weekend, he announced he was giving the trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation “the stewardship and care” of the team.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced Wednesday that Russia has lost 5,840 soldiers; dozens of helicopters, planes, artillery systems, fuel tanks; and hundreds of combat armored machines and vehicles. Ukraine's State Emergency Service said the same day that 2,000 civilians had been killed.