Thunderclap at Chelsea, Roman Abramovitch hands over
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea since 2003, has announced that he has entrusted the management of the club to the trustees of his charitable foundation, according to a statement released on Saturday 26 February.
The announcement comes as the noose tightens on Russian oligarchs and interests since the tension in Ukraine.
“I have always made decisions with the best interest of the club at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am now entrusting the trustees of the Chelsea Charitable Foundation with the management of Chelsea FC. I believe they are currently best placed to look after the interests of the club, the players, the staff and the fans,” said Roman Abramovich.
“In the almost 20 years that I have owned Chelsea, I have always seen my role as a custodian of the club, whose job is to ensure that we are performing as well as we can today and building for the future while playing a positive role in our communities,” the 55-year-old Russian billionaire also stresses, not specifying whether his withdrawal is temporary or permanent.
According to The Telegraph newspaper, Abramovich will remain the owner and is not looking to sell the club, which was crowned European champion last season.
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel had acknowledged on Friday, February 25, that the situation of the club’s owner “disturbed” his team.
“We can not pretend that this is not a problem. The situation in general, for me and my staff, for everyone at Cobham (the club’s training center, editor’s note), for the players, is horrible,” Tuchel had told reporters without pronouncing Abramovich’s name
“Nobody expected this. It’s very unreal, as I said, it disturbs our minds, it clouds our excitement ahead of the final of the League Cup,” he added, which will pit his club against Liverpool on Sunday 27 February.