Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has announced that he will hand over the stewardship of the club to trustees.
The Russian oligarch, who took over the club in 2003, said the trustees were in “the best position” to look after Chelsea.
Abramovich is believed to have taken the decision in order to protect Chelsea from continual links to the wider situation of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Here we take a look at what Abramovich said in his statement, what it means for the football club and whether he is friends with Vladimir Putin.
What did Roman Abramovich say in his statement?
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.”
What does ‘stewardship’ mean?
The dictionary defines ‘stewardship’ as the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.
Abramovich’s statement indicates that, while he will remain the owner of Chelsea, he will no longer be responsible for making decisions at the club.
What does Roman Abramovich’s statement mean for Chelsea?
Abramovich will remain as Chelsea owner.
However, he will not be involved in any decision-making at the west London club.
The club’s senior leadership set-up is also not expected to change.
Abramovich’s step backwards will also not have any bearing on any possible UK government sanctions.
Is Roman Abramovich friends with Vladimir Putin?
Abramovich’s relationship with Putin was established before the latter became the Russian president.
In 2012, a high court judge stated that the Chelsea owner had “privileged access” to the leader, as well as “very good relations”.
Claims that Abramovich bought Chelsea on the orders of Putin led to the former receiving an apology from publisher Harper Collins after they were initially outlined in a book entitled “Putin’s People”.
The claims have since been removed.
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