Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich is ready to sell Chelsea after 19 years of trophy-laden ownership amid growing backlash prompted by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea on the market and is inviting bids from potential buyers as backlash to his ownership of the club grows, according to reports.
The Russian oligarch, 55, bought the Blues in 2003 and has led them to the most successful spell in their history, winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League twice.
But his association with one of England’s largest clubs has been scrutinized in the wake of compatriot Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last week.
Abramovich has ties with the 69-year-old and European Parliament president Roberta Metsola declared he and his fellow oligarchs should not be able to “hide behind a veneer of respectability” by owning sports clubs and other foreign assets.
Amid this mounting pressure, the Chelsea supremo has decided to sell up and he is demanding £4billion for the club.
Is it time for Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea? Have your say in the comments!
That is according to the Daily Telegraph, which claims Abramovich may struggle to earn anywhere near this sum even though he has previously turned down offers worth £2.2billion for the Blues.
The report adds potential buyers have until the end of this week to make their best offers, while American bank the Raine Group has been appointed to handle the sale.
There are believed to be four parties in the running to wrest control of Chelsea, including Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.
“Abramovich is one of Putin’s closest advisers and friends,” Wyss told Zurich-based newspaper Blick. “Like all other oligarchs, he is also in a panic.
“Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly.
“I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.
“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2billion. But Chelsea have no money. Anyone who buys Chelsea must compensate Abramovich.
“As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price. I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners. But I have to examine the general conditions first.
“But what I can already say is that I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel could not hide his exasperation at numerous questions regarding Abramovich and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during his press conference on Tuesday.
“Listen, listen, listen… You have to stop. I’m not a politician,” Tuchel said. “You have to stop, honestly. I can only repeat it. And I even feel bad to repeat it, because I’ve never experienced war.”
Mirror Football have contacted Chelsea for comment, however the club is yet to reply.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.