August 19, 2022

Abramovich has rubbished recent reports

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has denied suggestions that he will ask for his £1.6billion loan to Chelsea be repaid when the club is sold.

The 55-year-old released a statement announcing that his ‘intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed.’

It comes after reports suggested that the outgoing Abramovich was set to renege on his promise to write off a £1.6bn debt, with The Times previously reporting that Chelsea told the government, and the rival bidders competing to own the Blues, that they want to restructure the way the club is being sold.

The full statement from Chelsea read: “Firstly, Mr Abramovich’s intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed.

“Since the initial announcement, Mr Abramovich’s team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organizations who have been tasked with forming a Foundation and setting out a plan for its activities. The lead independent expert has had conversations with Government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans.

“Mr Abramovich has not been involved in this work and it has been managed independently by experts with years of experience working in humanitarian organizations.

“Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him – such suggestions are entirely false – as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the Club last minute.

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“As part of Mr Abramovich’s objective to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, he has however encouraged each bidder throughout this process to commit investing in the Club – including in the Academy, Women’s team, necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of Chelsea Foundation.

“Following sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr Abramovich by the UK since announcing that the Club would be sold, the loan has also become subject to EU sanctions, requiring additional approvals. That means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by authorities.

“These funds are still earmarked for the Foundation. The Government are aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications.

“To be clear, Mr Abramovich has no access or control of these funds and will not have any access or control of these funds following the sale. Despite the changing circumstances since his initial announcement – he remains committed to finding a good custodian for Chelsea FC and making sure the proceeds go to good causes.”

When Abramovich first announced his decision to put the club up for sale, he said: “I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid.”

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