Abramovich wants to donate proceeds to Ukraine

Roman Abramovich made a surprising announcement. He put Chelsea FC up for sale, canceled the football club’s debts and promised to donate the proceeds to a foundation to help victims of the war in Ukraine. According to experts, the successful Champions League club could be worth more than 2 billion pounds (2.4 billion euros). Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and made it profitable through large investments. However, it is unclear how high the net proceeds would be, because the club also has a high loan.

Since the Ukraine war, the native Russian, who is considered a Putin friend, has been at the center of allegations. “In the current situation I have therefore made the decision to sell the club as I believe it is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the staff and the club’s sponsors and partners,” Abramovich wrote on Wednesday evening. The sale is the best solution, although it is an “incredibly difficult decision” for him. It was “painful to leave the club in this way”.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich, whom critics call an oligarch close to Putin, responded to the increasing pressure with his donation promise. The Labor opposition has been calling for sanctions against Abramovich since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine. Shortly before his public announcement of a billion-dollar donation, the Labor leader had called on the government to act. Starmer called for “all oligarchs” to be sanctioned and their property frozen in the kingdom. He and other deputies also named names, in addition to Abramovich also Oleg Deripaska and Igor Shuvalov.

Abramovich is targeted by the Interior Ministry because he has “ties to the Russian state” and because he is “publicly associated with corrupt activities and practices,” Starmer said. A week ago, the Labor MP quoted these phrases from internal Home Office papers. Labor has been calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to blacklist Abramovich. Johnson accidentally said in Parliament last week that Abramovich was already under British sanctions, but then corrected himself and apologized for his “slip of the tongue”.

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