Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich said net proceeds from the sale will go to charity “to benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine”. Abramovich announced his intentions in a statement on Wednesday night.
KAMPALA | LIFESTYLE UGANDA (https://lifestyleuganda.com/) — Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed he has put the club on the market and written off the £1.5bn ($2bn) of loans he has made to the club. Hansjörg Wyss and Todd Boehly are part of a consortium of billionaires hoping to acquire the club.
A source told The Guardian that at least one other group is preparing to make a bid this week, with the hope of maintaining some form of leverage for the owner. The first move was made when Wyss, a Swiss businessman, said he was invited to join a consortium trying to buy Chelsea.
Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, announced Wednesday evening he intends to sell the club and will donate the net proceeds from the sale to a charitable foundation “for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”.
Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003.
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“I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart,” Abramovich said.
“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.”
The billionaire said the sale of Chelsea was a “tough decision” and “it hurts me to part with the club in this way.” Abramovich said he would visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye.
Hansjörg Wyss, an 86-year-old, worth an estimated £4.3 billion, has teamed up with Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, worth an estimated £5 billion, to purchase Chelsea.
Several other investors are involved with them, including at least two US investors, according to reports.
Following a highly eventful five days in which he announced plans to relinquish control of Chelsea and was accused of hastily selling UK properties to avoid potential financial sanctions, Abramovich has decided to sell Chelsea.
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The decision by Abramovich to transfer the care of Chelsea to the charity foundation followed a call from parliament for him to face sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Reports suggesting he is close to Vladimir Putin and Russia, or that he deserves to be sanctioned, have been vehemently denied by the 55-year-old.
In an interview with The Blick, Wyss said he had been approached by a consortium of “six or seven investors” but added that the asking price was too high.
Wyss told Blick that Abramovich has been selling all his English villas and that he wants Chelsea to be sold quickly too.
“I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich. I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2bn. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.”
According to reports, Boehly’s £2.2bn bid for Chelsea was rejected in 2019. He is also the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries, an investment firm that invests in sectors including media and sport.
Wyss has worked for Eldridge for many years, and he is former CEO and president of Synthes Holding AG, a medical device manufacturer. Wyss is also a supporter of liberal and environmental causes in the U.S., where he lived for a number of years.