Roman Abramovich has given up management of Chelsea to prevent the club from ‘being a hostage of anti-Russian sanctions’, according to a close friend of the billionaire.
On Saturday, Chelsea confirmed that Abramovich had transferred his management rights to the trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
The Chelsea Foundation is headed by club president Bruce Buck. The other trustees are Chelsea Women’s Director Emma Hayes. Chelsea’s chief financial officer, Paul Ramos, Piara Powar, who is the chief executive officer of the anti-apartheid organization Fare. Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics. Hugh Robertson, president of the British Olympic Association and former MP, and sports lawyer John Devine.
Abramovich could continue to sponsor Chelsea, while the inner workings of the club will remain unchanged with Marina Granovskaia remaining in control of football operations.
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However, Abramovich left the club following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
A friend of Abramovich told the Financial Times: ‘He is actually doing it to prevent the club from being held hostage by anti-Russian sanctions, which are coming into effect for a while.
While Abramovich has not been sanctioned, Labor MP Chris Bryant has called for the seizure of his assets, including Chelsea.
Bryant told the House of Commons: “I have been in possession of a leaked document from 2019 from the Home Office that relates to Mr Abramovich.
‘As part of HMGs Russia’s strategy to target illicit finance and malpractice, Abramovich retains an interest in HMG due to his connections to the Russian state and his public association. with corrupt practices and practices.
‘An example of this is Abramovich admitting during court proceedings that he paid the price for political influence.
‘HMG is therefore focused on ensuring individuals involved in illicit finance and misbehavior cannot be based in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal including immigration rights to prevent this.
‘That was almost three years ago, but something remarkable has been done in the relationship Surely Mr Abramovich won’t be able to own a football club in this country anymore?
‘Surely we should consider seizing some of his properties, including his £152million home? And make sure others who already have a tier one visa like this don’t engage in bad practice in the UK. ‘
In his statement on Saturday, Abramovich said: ‘During my almost 20 years of ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a Club supervisor whose job is to ensure that we succeed today, build for the future, and play an active role in our community.
‘I always make decisions in the best interest of the club. I remain committed to these values. That is why today I am giving the trustees of the Chelsea Charity the right to manage and take care of Chelsea FC.
‘I believe they are now in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff and fans.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/02/27/roman-abramovich-friend-reveals-why-chelsea-owner-has-given-up-stewardship-of-club-16182700/ Roman Abramovich's friend reveals why Chelsea owner gave up management of the club