Roman Abramovich surrenders “stewardship and care of Chelsea FC”

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has released a statement on Saturday afternoon which says he is “giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.”

The statement read: ‘During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the Club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities.

“I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.

“I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the Club, players, staff, and fans.”

Whether this is permanent or temporary is not clear as the club has not released any further details outside of the statement.

The trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation are: John Devine, Paul Ramos, Piara Power, Emma Hayes, Hugh Robertson and Bruch Buck.

Abramovich’s statement comes after Labour MP Chris Bryant questioned whether he should be able to own a football club in the UK, using parliamentary privilege to explain why.

Bryant then told The Telegraph that Abramovich and Everton investor Alisher Usmanov must ‘make absolutely clear now that they oppose the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

He added: “They should be lining up in front of the TV cameras to say, “surely to God this can’t be happening” otherwise we will conclude that they are still in hock to Putin.”

After Abramovich made his statement on his Chelsea future, Bryant tweeted: “Good. Now he can condemn the illegal invasion.”