Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich hands over control of the Chelsea soccer club to the club’s foundation trustees, he says in a 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,” the statement reads.
“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,” Abramovich says.
“I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the Club, players, staff, and fans,” he adds.
The move comes amid concerns Abramovich, a former Russian provincial governor and ally of President Vladimir Putin, could become subject to US sanctions amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.