Roman Abramovich has confirmed reports of his intention to sell the Chelsea, according to a statement released on Wednesday by the club.
Abramovich has been in the news over his suspected ties with the Russian government that recently invaded Ukraine and is “terrified of being sanctioned”
As per Sky, as many as eight multi-billionaires were being sounded out about their appetite to buy the club at a time when Abramovich faces the possibility of being sanctioned by the UK Government after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He [Abramovich] also reportedly turned down an offer of £2.5bn for the club from an unidentified third party earlier this week, with bids of £3bn or more expected to be taken seriously.
Abramovich’s asking price is £3bn and is expected to issue letters to prospective bidders through his advisers on Wednesday, with a deadline set for indicative bids in mid-March.
The statement on the club’s website credited to Abramovich reads, “I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC.
“As I have stated before, I have always taken 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 of the Club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club.
“Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.
“Please know that 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.
“I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person. It has been a privilege of a lifetime to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.
The sale of the club will bring Abramovich’s nearly two decade ownership of the club to an end