Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, has given up his stewardship of the club in order to prevent it from “becoming hostage to anti-Russian sanctions”, according to a close friend of the billionaire.
On Saturday, the Premier League side confirmed Abramovich has transferred his stewardship to the trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
Chelsea’s charitable foundation is led by the club’s chairman, Bruce Buck.
Abramovich can continue to fund Chelsea, however, the inner workings of the club will remain unchanged, with Marina Granovskaia still in charge of football operations.
However, Abramovich has moved to distance himself from the club following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
“He’s really doing it to stop the club from becoming hostage to anti-Russian sanctions, which are going to be around for a while now,” a friend of Abramovich told the Financial Times.
Earlier this week, the UK Government announced sanctions against Russian banks, oligarchs and companies.
While Abramovich has not received any sanctions, Labour MP Chris Bryant has called for the seizure of his assets, including Chelsea.