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Roman Abramovich releases statement confirming he has decided to sell Chelsea

Roman Abramovich has confirmed in a statement he is in the process of looking to sell Chelsea Football Club as the fall-out of Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues

By Rich Jones | Mirror |

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed he has decided to sell the club in a statement.

The Russian billionaire purchased the West London outfit back in 2003 for £140m and transformed them into one of the world’s most successful clubs.

But his position has come under scrutiny amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and he announced at the weekend he had transferred stewardship of the club to trustees of the Chelsea Foundation.

After a wave of speculation and interested parties coming forward, Abramovich has now confirmed he is selling the Stamford Bridge club – but vowed the sale will not be fast-tracked.

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He has also stated he will not ask for any loans to be repaid as he takes a decision he insists is “in the best interest” of the club – whilst net proceeds will be donated to victims in Ukraine.

Abramovich wrote on the club’s website: “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. Thank you, Roman”

UFC star Conor McGregor has claimed he wants to “explore” buying the Blues.

Swiss businessman Hansjorg Wyss has also revealed he has been offered the chance to buy, whilst Sir Jim Ratcliffe, previously Britain’s richest man, has been linked with the club in the past.