Amid the Israel-Palestine conflict, the UK government considered redirecting Roman Abramovich's hefty £2.34 billion Chelsea sale fund away from Ukraine to Israel. Initially intended to aid victims of the Ukrainian war, this commitment came right before Abramovich was sanctioned due to alleged ties to Vladimir Putin.
However, the funds remained frozen, and there was global pressure to limit their use strictly to Ukraine Reportedly, Abramovich himself proposed allocating the money to Israel, where he gained citizenship in 2018, to avoid potential backlash in Russia.
Another suggestion involved aiding victims of a February earthquake in Turkey, a region with Abramovich's connections. However, debates circulated on who initiated these propositions, some claim Abramovich, while others cite Israel.
Despite these suggestions, the UK government ultimately declined, affirming the funds' exclusive use for Ukraine, as agreed upon during the Chelsea sale. The sale, completed on May 30 to an American-led consortium, cemented an agreement with Abramovich to channel proceeds towards aiding Ukraine, despite these deliberations over potential alternative uses.
Roman Abramovich and Chelsea
Let's remind that Roman Abramovich sold Chelsea two years ago, and in his statement he revealed the reasons; "The sale of the Club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid.
This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club. Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.
This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner.
However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club.I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person. It has been a privilege of a lifetime to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.Thank you,Roman"