Roman Abramovich has confirmed his decision to sell Chelsea amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian-Israeli billionaire has owned the Blues since 2003 and helped lead the Stamford Bridge club to 19 major trophies.
But the 55-year-old’s glittering reign in west London is coming to an end, with a consortium of billionaires having already made public their interest in a deal.
Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investor Todd Boehly are believed to be two of the parties joining forces and now preparing a bid for the Blues.
“I would like to address the speculation in the media over the past few days regarding my ownership of Chelsea FC,” Abramovich’s statement read.
“As I have said before, I have always made decisions in the interest of the club.
“In the current situation, I have therefore made the decision to sell the club, as I believe it is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.”
Wyss, 86, has already revealed his intention to bid for Chelsea.
Abramovich could still face sanctions from the British government given his closeness to the Russian state, although he also tried to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.
He has vowed not to rush the sale of a club which won two Champions League titles, as well as the Club World Cup title earlier this year under his ownership.
Abramovich also pledged to donate any net proceeds from the club’s sale to help victims of war in Ukraine.
“The sale of the club will not be expedited but will follow due process,” Abramovich’s statement continued.
“I will not ask for any loan repayment. It was never about business or money for me, but pure passion for the game and the club. In addition, I have instructed my team to create a charitable foundation where all net profits from the sale will be donated.
“The foundation will benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing essential funds for the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting long-term recovery work.