BILLONAIRE Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has revealed he is selling the club.
The Russian oligarch says he will donate the net proceeds to “all victims of the war in Ukraine” – but failed to condemn Putin’s brutal invasion.
It comes as European Parliament president Roberta Metsola insisted anyone with ties to Putin should not be in control of sports clubs.
The government have yet to order sanctions against Abramovich, who is said to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But the Chelsea owner’s concern about potential seizing of assets is said to have sparked his move to off-load the Blues.
Abramovich himself has denied he has close links to the Russian despot.
“As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart.
“In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.
“The sale of the Club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club.”
He said: “All money raised will benefit 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.
“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner. However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club.
“I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person.
“Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.
Thank you, Roman.”
It comes after Abramovich handed over stewardship of Chelsea to its charitable foundation at the weekend.
MP Chris Bryant claims Abramovich is desperately trying to sell his London mansion amid fears Putin’s cronies will be hit by tough sanctions.