On Wednesday, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich revealed his intentions to sell Chelsea Football Club, which ends his nearly 20-year ownership of the club. He said the sale is in the best interest of the squad, fans, staff, sponsors, and partners amid political pressure for the British government to sanction Russian billionaires.

According to Abramovich, the net proceeds from the Chelsea sale will go towards a foundation set up to help those impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ultimately, he clarified that he does not intend to ask for any loans to be repaid, seemingly alluding to a $2 billion loan he lent the club during his ownership.

"This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club,” part of the statement reads per CNN.

“The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery," he continued.

The announcement came less than a week after the billionaire, a confidante of President Vladimir Putin, confirmed he transferred stewardship of the London-based club to the trustees of a charitable foundation at the back of calls for him to face sanctions from the United Kingdom, according to the Daily Beast.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian advocate Daria Kaleniuk, the executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, called out British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the lack of sanctions on Abramovich.

“You’re talking about more sanctions, prime minister. But Roman Abramovich is not sanctioned. He is in London. His children are not in the bombardments. His children are there, in London,” Kaleniuk argued per CNBC News.

Notably, Abramovich, who formerly served as Governor of Chukotka, maintains he's not an official Russian political figure. He has not been sanctioned by the U.K. He assumed ownership of the club in 2003 for $233 million.

The Russian tycoon, whose net worth sits at $12.4 billion, currently values the club at $5.5 billion. As of April 2021, Chelsea was worth $3.2 billion per Forbes.

Roman Abramovich
The Russian tycoon assumed ownership of the club in 2003 for $233 million. Alexander Hassenstein /Getty Images

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