Upon learning about Roman Abramovich’s intention to step down as owner of Chelsea, the players were left perplexed for a short period of time.
On Saturday, Abramovich declared that he had transferred his stewardship of the Chelsea charitable foundation to the trustees of the foundation.
Abramovich, who has been the owner of Chelsea since 2003, has categorically rejected any connection between himself and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin in the past.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this week, the United Kingdom government released a list of penalties against Russian banks, oligarchs, and businesses, among other entities.
While Abramovich has not been sanctioned, he has taken steps to disassociate himself from the situation by announcing that he will relinquish his stewardship of Chelsea.
It has been reported by The Athletic that Chelsea’s players were not informed of the decision in advance and were only informed of it during their team supper on Saturday night.
According to reports, ‘a number of players instantly enquired’ about Abramovich’s remark, but the attitude among the team was’relaxed’ when they learnt that the club’s day-to-day operations would not be affected by the statement.
Despite the fact that he has relinquished his stewardship, Abramovich will be able to continue to support Chelsea, and the club’s internal operations will continue with Marina Granovskaia still in charge of the football side of the business.
In an interview with the Financial Times, a close friend of Abramovich stated that the Russian billionaire is attempting to prevent the club from becoming a hostage to anti-Russian sanctions, which are expected to remain in place for some time.
According to Abramovich’s statement released on Saturday, “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 to ensure that we are as successful today, while also building for the future,” and “whose job it is to ensure that we are playing a positive role in our communities.”
‘I have always made judgments with the club’s best interests at the forefront of my thoughts. I have not wavered in my commitment to these principles. That is why I am entrusting the management and maintenance of Chelsea Football Club to the trustees of Chelsea’s charity Foundation today.
The club, players, staff, and supporters are all in the best position right now, in my opinion, because they are in the best position to look after them.
In addition, Chelsea issued a statement on Sunday morning, which read: ‘The situation in Ukraine is horrible and devastating.
‘Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with the people of Ukraine at this time. Peace is something that everyone at the club wishes to see come about.