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.
Could be wrong but all I see it as him taking Chelsea away from the attention and stopping the club from being dragged through the mud for the near future.— CFCDaily (@CFCDaily) February 26, 2022
The way I read that statement from Roman Abramovich is that, by relinquishing control of the club to @CFCFoundation, he is safeguarding it from any potential sanctions that may be imposed against him personally.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) February 26, 2022
No word in there on how temporary or permanent this position may be.
Roman’s effectively prevented the club from being part of any dirty war between him and the government, club will likely be free of sanctions/asset freezes now Abramovich has relinquished control to his trustees – so in effect, he walks into the shadows— Zak ⭐️⭐️ (@ZG1999_) February 26, 2022
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.
As Monkey says, this is to ensure Roman doesn’t have Chelsea seized as an asset. He will still control the holding company, but will not be in direct control of the club.— Gareth Williams (@Shakacarnage) February 26, 2022
That’s the holding company that Chelsea FC owes £1.5bn to. No such thing as a free lunch. https://t.co/hxChubvqga
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.”
Thomas Tuchel on the criticism of Roman Abramovich after Russia’s attack on Ukraine— Football Fans Tribe 🇳🇬 ⚽ (@FansTribeHQ) February 26, 2022
🗣️”We should not pretend that there is no problem. The whole situation for me and my team is terrible. I understand the criticism towards the club and us, because we represent it.”
(📸 UEFA) pic.twitter.com/a6nuHJIsuM