Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said on Wednesday he had decided to sell Chelsea football club, 19 years after buying the London club, and promised to donate the money from the sale to help to the victims of the war in Ukraine.
“I have always made decisions in the interest of the club,” Abramovich said in a statement released by the reigning European and world football champions on their website. “In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe it is in the best interest of the club, the supporters, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.”
Abramovich said he would not ask for the loans he made to the club – which are said to amount to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.0 billion) – to be repaid to him and that the sale would not be accelerated. He said he told his staff to set up a charitable foundation that would receive all net proceeds from the sale.
“The foundation will benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine,” Abramovich said in the statement. “This includes providing essential funds for the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting long-term recovery work.”
($1 = 0.7481 pounds)
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