Russia-Ukraine War: Abramovic Hands Over Chelsea Management To A Foundation
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By Our Correspondent
Barely 48 hours after he was barred from entering United Kindom, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich announced on Saturday he is handing over the “stewardship and care” of the club to the trustees of its charitable foundation, Chelsea Charity Foundation.
Abramovich issued the statement through the club just a day before Chelsea face Liverpool in the final of the EFL Cup.
The announcement came three days after Russia began its military invasion of Ukraine to widespread international condemnation.
“During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities,” Abramovich said.
“I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.
“I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff, and fans.”
On Thursday, Abramovich’s name was mentioned in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament as possible sanctions against the Russian state and individuals were discussed.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel admitted the “uncertainty” around the owner was proving to be a distraction for the players, saying: “I would love to take my right not to comment on this until there is a decision made. But we are aware of it and it’s distracting us, it’s worrying us.
He was barred from entering the United Kingdom following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.
“To a certain degree I can understand the opinions and the critical opinions towards the club, towards us who represent that club. I can understand that and we cannot fully free ourselves from it.”
Abramovich purchased the club in 2003 and has bankrolled a period of significant success at Stamford Bridge. They have won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice, most recently last season.
Chelsea will seek to will the 6th Carabao Cup on Sunday when the battle Liverpool in the final at the Wembley Stadium by 5:30pm.