Mar 2, 2022 - Sports

Roman Abramovich looking to sell Chelsea FC

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich, Owner of Chelsea celebrates with The FIFA Club World Cup trophy following their side's victory during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 Final match between in February 2022. Photo: Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is looking to sell Chelsea FC, the British soccer team he's owned since 2003, amid calls for him to be sanctioned for his ties to President Vladimir Putin, he announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: The walls were closing in around Abramovich's ownership of the club this week, as Britain proposed legislation targeting oligarchs like Abramovich who obtained their wealth through ties with Putin.

  • Abramovich previously said last week he would be turning over "stewardship and care" of Chelsea FC" to the club's charitable foundation.

In his statement Wednesday, Abramovich said he would set up a charitable foundation to take all net proceeds from his sale of the club.

  • "The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine," Abramovich wrote.
  • Between the lines: The statement is the closest Abramovich has come to publicly condemning Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

What he's saying: "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," Abramovich wrote in a statement.

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