Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has released a shock statement this evening amid Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
He has confirmed that he has ceded care and stewardship of the Blues to the club’s charitable arm amid the ongoing fight in eastern Europe.
The statement 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 development has left fans puzzled over the Foundation’s particular role and what Abramovich ’s decision could entail.
football.london takes a look at what the organisation is and what they do.
What is the Chelsea Foundation?
The Chelsea Foundation is the charitable arm of the current European champions and are responsible for a number of campaigns both on and off the pitch in London and further afield.
It is specifically the umbrella organisation for both Chelsea’s Football in the Community and Education departments, alongside the remainder of the charitable and community activities organised by the club.
When were they set-up?
The Foundation was only set up in 2010 as a way to assist both the Chelsea community around the world and of course in the immediate vicinity of Stamford Bridge.
It is officially based at the club’s west London home.
What do they do?
The Foundation does not have a specific remit but organising a wide-ranging list of activities and programmes.
This includes but is not limited to employment, women’s sport, equality, charity work and family engagement.
What their role would be following Abramovich’s latest decision remains to be seen.
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Who are the Trustees?
Decisions regarding the west London club now though do appear to be in the hands of those other than the current owner.
football.london understands these individuals include current chairman Bruce Buck, sports lawyer John Devine, Chelsea FC Women’s manager Emma Hayes, the club’s director of finance Paul Ramos, former Chief Executive of Kick It Out Piara Powar and ex-Minister for Sport Sir Hugh Robertson.