Absolutely seismic, albeit vague, news coming out of Stamford Bridge this afternoon. Roman Abramovich, Owner of the club since 2003, announced that he is giving up “care and stewardship” of the club to the Chelsea charitable foundation. This shocking move comes amidst the global chaos that has ensued since Abramovich’s native country of Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
Abramovich is globally notorious for being the “favorite son” of Russian despot Vladimir Putin, who illegally attacked Ukraine. Amidst this global backdrop, and on the eve of a cup final match, there have been calls within the UK Parliament for Great Britain to seize Abramovich’s assets, including Chelsea FC.
League Cup Final FYIs
Date: Sunday 27th February 2022
Kick: 430pm, Wembley Stadium, London
bet365 odds: Chelsea win 2/1 Draw 23/10 Liverpool win 11/8
Series History: Chelsea wins 65 Draws 43 Liverpool wins 82
The official statement is a bit vague, and it’s very light on actual legal details, but it kind of sounds like Abramovich is moving towards conceding control of the club.
Here are the words of 55-year-old Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, via the club’s official statement:
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.
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.
Should there sanctions imposed on Abramovich, and hence the club, it’s quite possible they could actually go out of business. At least that’s what’s being reported in the Times of London right now. If that does happen, then Abramovich could demand repayment of the 1.5B GBP that is owed to him by the club.
Of course, if that happens, Abramovich might have even bigger problems than that to contend with. With Putin showing no regret or remorse for the atrocities that he’s committed, the rest of the world is showing solidarity with Ukraine. That solidarity is being conveyed via the imposition of sanctions on Russia and those who are closest to Putin.
This is also a major distraction for the Blues on the eve of a tournament final clash in the capital city.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks