Abramovich hands over control of Chelsea to the Club Foundation

Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich said on Saturday he was handing over the “government and care” of the Premier League club to the trustees of his charitable foundation.

The move comes with Russia coming under intense scrutiny following its invasion of Ukraine this week.

Billionaire Abramovich, who took over at Stamford Bridge in 2003, said in a statement: “Throughout my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always seen my role as the custodian of the club, whose job it is to ensure that we are as successful as we can be today and build for the future while playing a positive role in our communities.

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“I have always made decisions in the best interests of the club. I remain committed to these values. So today I am delegating responsibility and care for Chelsea FC to the trustees of the Chelsea Charitable Foundation.

“I believe they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, the players, the staff and the fans at the moment.”

Abramovich is understood to have made the decision to protect Chelsea from reputational damage while the war in Ukraine rages on.

The Telegraph reported that Abramovich will remain owner of the club and will not seek to sell the European champions.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck is also chairman of the club foundation.

Blues manager Thomas Tuchel admitted on Friday that uncertainty over Abramovich’s future as owner is weighing on his club ahead of Sunday’s League Cup final against Liverpool.

“We shouldn’t pretend that this isn’t a problem,” he said. “The situation in general for me and for my staff, the players, is terrible.

“Nobody expected it. It’s quite unreal, like I said, it clouds our minds, it clouds our anticipation of the final.”

Also read | Robert Lewandowski supports Poland’s decision to cancel the World Cup qualifier against Russia after invading Ukraine

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