Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed that he has handed over the care and stewardship of the club amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The billionaire – who has owned the club since his 2003 takeover – has relinquished the decision-making duties at the club, with the Trustees of the west London outfit’s charitable arm now assuming that responsibility.
Abramovich’s statement on Saturday read: “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.
“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 wording of the statement has left a few supporters confused as to where the current ownership of the club stands – a particular concern considering the Blues are just one day from taking part in a major domestic cup final.
However, from a legal and business standpoint, Abramovich remains the owner of the club – the only aspect that has been altered being the day-to-day decision-making process in west London.
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Abramovich’s decision to step back has seen control handed over to the Trustees of the club’s charitable arm – The Chelsea Foundation.
The Trustees are made up of six individuals with varying degrees of involvement within the club.
For instance, chairman Bruce Buck and Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes are included in the list alongside the likes of John Devine, Piara Powar, Paul Ramos and Sir Hugh Robertson.