Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich Today (26) announced that it will hand over “Management and Care” Chelsea Football Club For the charitable trustees of the club.
Abramovich has owned the team for nearly 20 years. The statement was released by Chelsea after The United Kingdom announces sanctions against Russia and its ruling minorityIn response to the invasion of Ukraine.
The billionaire – who has already lost US$1 billion (5.16 billion Brazilian riyals) since Tuesday (22), when the invasion occurred – said in a statement that he believes the trustees of the Foundation are “in the best position to look after the interests of the club, the players, the staff and the fans”.
The announcement comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday set sanctions against Russian banks, members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and other wealthy Russians who deposit their fortunes on British soil.
The billionaire bought Chelsea FC for about $190 million in 2003 (about R$551 million in conversion at the time) and is now valued at US$3.2 billion (16.5 billion R$), according to a Forbes estimate.
Despite the significant gesture of handing over Chelsea management, Abramovich could still use it to protect himself if the UK pursued his assets: The club owes the Russian billionaire, its largest shareholder, a staggering $2 billion.
This gives Abramovich a significant amount of leverage over the UK, depending on how deep the sanctions are, says Kieran Maguire, professor of football finance at the University of Liverpool. The worst-case scenario for Chelsea fans is becoming more likely, because if he gets the loan the club could go bankrupt.
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