Published: 04th March 2022
What The FAQ: Chelsea FC is up for sale. Here's how it's linked to the Ukraine-Russia crisis
While the recent reason can be pegged to the owner's alleged close ties with the Russian President and the Kremlin, issues have been plaguing the Russian oligarch's ownership of the club since 2018
Chelsea FC's Russian owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed that he will sell the club after spending 19 years in charge of the club. Abramovich has faced severe backlash due to his alleged close ties with Russia's President Vladimir Putin amid the country's ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
Here's what we know till now.
Is it confirmed?
Abramovich announced in an official statement on Chelsea's website, that he will be selling the club but will not ask for any loans to be repaid as it wasn't a business for him. "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," said Abramovich
Why is he selling the club?
While the recent reason can be pegged to his alleged close ties with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, issues have been plaguing the Russian oligarch's ownership of the club since 2018. Abramovich bought the club for £140 million in 2003 from British businessman Ken Bates and became a regular at the director’s box, watching the league games. In 2018, his investor visa was not renewed by the British government at a time when tension prevailed between London and Moscow. But recently, it has become even tough for him. The British politicians have been urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to sanction Abramovich. Some even went to the extent of bringing up money laundering allegations against him.
How will the sale be done?
Abramovich said that it will not be a hasty process and that he will waive all personal loans as it was never about business to him. "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 or 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," he added. The funds will be used to help Ukrainian refugees.
How long will it take?
Premier League's chief executive Richard Masters feels that a change in ownership of Chelsea could go through in just 10 days. He added that Roman Abramovich has made the 'right decision' in putting Chelsea up for sale. Abramovich has set a deadline of Friday (March 4) for interested parties to submit 'indicative offers' for the club he has owned for the best part of two decades.