Chelsea owner and Russian business tycoon Roman Abramovich is reportedly selling his UK-based properties following increasing speculation he is preparing to sell the Premier League giants amid the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine.
Russia’s decision to invade the Ukraine last Thursday has sent shockwaves around the globe and while irrelevant in comparison, football has been no exception.
With global governments imposing devastating financial restrictions on Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the country, as well as all those capable of influencing politically, are expected to be hit hard with sanctions.
Abramovich, an uber-wealthy Russian oligarch worth over £9bn (Forbes), could also face sanctions and that possibility is understood to have prompted him to consider selling Chelsea.
In a fresh attempt to bid farewell to Chelsea, a club he has owned since 2003, Abramovich is reportedly already offloading properties situated on British soil.
That’s according to Labour MP Chris Bryant, also the head of parliamentary standards committee, who told the House of Commons on Tuesday that Abramovich is fearful of being financially sanctioned by the UK Government.
“I think he [Abramovich] is terrified of being sanctioned,” Bryant said. “Which is why he’s already going to sell his home tomorrow, and sell another flat as well. My anxiety is that we’re taking too long about these things.”
Adding additional credibility to Bryant’s claims has been Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, who recently claimed Abramovich has already offered him the chance to buy Chelsea.
“Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,” Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick (as quoted by Sky Sports). “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 has no money. 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: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”