Chelsea fans have flooded Twitter and other social media channels with gratitude to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich who helped their club win ever major trophy in football. On Wednesday evening, Abramovich confirmed that he is selling Chelsea Football Club (which he has owned since 2003), and – risking the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin – Abramovich said he will donate the proceeds of the sale to victims of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and to the rebuilding of that country.
In a statement on the Club’s website, Abramovich said:
“I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC. As I have stated before, 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.
“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.
“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner. However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club.
“I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person. It has been a privilege of a lifetime to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.
“Thank you, Roman”
Many fans said Abramovich was the best club owner, not just because of his cash, but his absolute determination to win and to drive them to win. Under Abramovich, Chelsea won the following: Premier League x 5, FA Cup x 5, League Cup x 3, Champions League x 2, Europa League x 2, Super Cup x 1 and Club World Cup x 1.
If you’re in South Africa, watch the Premier League and other top sports on Showmax Pro.
This got me teary 😭😭😭💙💙💙
Thank you Roman for all you've done for Chelsea Fc 💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/PJbgHf2nEG
— Oladotun Olagunju (@Dotun_Olagunju) March 2, 2022
— Ogidi (@AmechiCFC) March 2, 2022
Chelsea fans in the away end here with repeated chants of “Roman Abramovich, Roman Abramovich.” pic.twitter.com/B56pQn6B55
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) March 2, 2022
19 years. 21 trophies. Every major trophy won.
If this is the end, thank you Roman Abramovich. 💙 pic.twitter.com/EK405yvjEC
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) March 2, 2022