Owner Roman Abramovich hands over control to Chelsea Club Foundation

Chelsea will be looking to grab their third piece of silverware when they meet Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

With tensions rising from Stanford Bridge regarding the Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Tuchel situation, Chelsea’s digressing focus is being reflected on the pitch.

Things don’t seem to improve for the west London club as club owner Roman Abramovich announced on Saturday that he would relinquish his “stewardship and care” to their charitable foundation.

The shocking announcement was made through the club’s official website. The Russian billionaire wrote: “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.”

WHY IS ABRAMOVICH RESIGNING?

The move comes after the UK government issued sanctions against Russia and its oligarchs. Since buying the club in 2003, Abramovich’s Chelsea has won five Premier League titles and two European Champions League titles.

Speculations from fans have concluded that the Russian oligarch has tried to protect the club from any reputational damage as Russia invades Ukraine.

The 55-year-old has handed the club to the trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation that includes Bruce Buck, John Devine, Emma Hayes, Piara Powar, Paul Ramos, and Sir Hugh Robertson as members.

He stated: “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.”

The trustees will take charge of the club immediately in the owner’s absence and deal with club-related issues. Abramovich will however control the holding company that reportedly owes 1.5 billion Euros to the businessman.

CHELSEA’S FINANCIAL SITUATION

With smart investments and helping build a sustainable financial model, Abramovich’s vision has limited the influx of his personal wealth into the club. With his 19 years of ownership, the club improved financially after dealing with losses for over a decade before the Russian’s entry.

Although it is difficult to predict the effects on Chelsea’s upcoming transfer window, the club will otherwise function normally through the income from sponsors and matchday revenue.

PRESSURE ON THE CUP FINAL?

Although Chelsea feels that the administrative issues will not pose as a problem for the Carabao Cup final ahead, manager Thomas Tuchel has his concerns. He admitted on Friday the distraction over the owner’s future is inevitable.

“We should not pretend this is not an issue,” he said. “The situation in general for me and for my staff, the players, is horrible.”