Abramovich confirms Chelsea is up for sale

London, Mar 2 (EFE).- Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich confirmed Wednesday that is looking to sell Chelsea F.C. amid fears he could be targeted by British sanctions leveled following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Ruling out a “fast-tracked” sale, he said that the transaction “will follow due process.”

Abramovich, 55, said that he will not be seeking repayment of the more than 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) he has loaned to Chelsea since buying the London club for 100 million pounds back in 2003, and that the proceeds from the sale will go to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine.

“This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club,” he said.

The statement was released hours after Zurich newspaper Blick published an interview with Swiss magnate Hansjörg Wyss in which the 86-year-old said that he had been approached to buy the Premier League club.

“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner,” Abramovich said.

“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,” he said.

Thanks to Abramovich’s money, Chelsea went from being a competitive team to a dominant force, winning five Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, and five FA Cups.

Word that the club is up for sale comes just four days after Abramovich transferred the day-to-day management of Chelsea F.C. to its charitable foundation. EFE msg/jt/ks/dr

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