Roman Abramovich hands over stewardship of Chelsea to trustees of Chelsea's charitable Foundation.
Chelsea Football Club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich released a statement through the club's website this evening.
He has announced that he is stepping back to allow the tustees of Chelsea's charitable foundation the stewardship and care of the club.
The full statement reads:
"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."
This announcement comes after Abramovich was named by Chris Bryant in British parliament this week.
Bryant referenced a 2019 document leak that revealed Abramovich as having links to the Russian state as well as to "corrupt activity and practices." The Labour MP suggested that the UK should seize Abramovich's assets and bar him from owning Chelsea Football Club.
The UK has imposed sanctions on Russia and Russians living in Britain. Abramovich no longer resides in England as an investor. He withdrew his application for a new UK investor visa in 2018. That was result of the worsening relationship between Russia and Britain after the Salisbury poisonings.
When he travels to London, he does so on his Israeli passport.
Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003. He has invested enormous sums into the club and has repeatedly fired managers early in their tenures, but for the most part he has remained in the background. It's unlikely that this move is going to dramatically change Chelsea or the way the club is run unless there are further developments.