Roman Abramovich has handed “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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. But there are now questions about his long-term future at the club.
Whether Abramovich will ever return to taking a more visible hands-on role at the club will likely depend strongly on whether he faces any sanctions, and what happens in Ukraine and the UK’s relationship with Russia.
“A lot of Chelsea fans will want to know if he’s still going to be putting money in,” chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol told Sky Sports News. “I believe he will continue to back the club, but that, of course, could change if the UK Government announce he is being sanctioned – but they haven’t done that so far.”
There have been calls from MPs this week that Russian-born Abramovich should not be allowed to own Chelsea due to his alleged links to Vladimir Putin’s regime.
“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.“