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Abramovich Has Handed Stewardship To Trustees Of Club’s Charitable Foundation

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich handed over control of Chelsea to trustees of its charitable foundation on Saturday as Premier League players showed their support for war-torn Ukraine.⁣

Elsewhere on a dramatic day in the English top-flight, Christian Eriksen made an emotional return to football eight months after suffering a cardiac arrest, and leaders Manchester City grabbed a late winner at Everton.⁣

Abramovich’s move, which overshadowed the action on the pitch, comes just days after Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, which has drawn international condemnation.⁣

The 55-year-old, who has plowed £1.5 billion ($2 billion) into Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2003, said in a statement on the club’s website that he had always viewed his role as a “custodian of the club”.⁣

Roman Abramovich

“I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart,” he said. “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.”⁣

It is understood Abramovich took the decision in order to protect Chelsea from reputational damage as war rages in Ukraine.⁣

Press reports said Abramovich would remain the owner of the club and was not looking to sell the European champions, who have thrived under his ownership.⁣

The UK government on Friday ordered all assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov frozen over the invasion of Ukraine.⁣

The Treasury issued a financial sanctions notice against the two men, adding them to a list of Russian oligarchs already targeted.⁣
Abramovich, whose team play Liverpool in the League Cup final on Sunday, is not on the list.⁣

Ukraine team-mates Vitalii Mykolenko of Everton and Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko embraced before the late kick-off at Goodison Park, where both were substitutes.⁣

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