Sale of Chelsea, the division between triumphs and reputation

Roman Abramovich’s presence at Chelsea Football Club went from splendor to twilight in a matter of days and there is no going back. The Russian businessman acquired the London club in 2003 and at its command he harvested the most prodigious era in its history, winning 19 titles in 18 years, more than the 11 that were won in the previous 98 years (the club was founded in 1905) . But the invasion of Ukraine ended up turning the perception towards his person, who had already been persecuted, and he decided to resign.

“As I have said before, I have always made decisions with the interest of the club in mind. In the current situation, I have made the decision to sell it as I believe it is in the best interest of the fans, employees, sponsors and partners. This has never been a question of business or money for me, but of pure passion for the game and the club. It has been the privilege of my life to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and his supporters will always be in my heart,” Abramovich said in the letter confirming the sale of his team property.

In that same statement, the Russian magnate pointed out that all the net profits from the sale will be directed to those who suffer from the conflict directly: “The foundation will be for the benefit of all the victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funding for the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as to support long-term recovery work.”

The brand value of Chelsea FC is 2,079 million dollars (1,875 million euros), according to the most recent study of KPMG’s most valuable soccer teams in 2021, ranking seventh worldwide. In addition, it is the fourth most expensive squad on the entire planet with 979 million dollars, only behind Manchester City, PSG and Liverpool.

According to Bloomberg and the Swiss newspaper Blick, the sale of the club is around 2,500 million dollars and one of its potential buyers is the Swiss billionaire, Hansjoerg Wyss, although according to the Swiss media, this character described the price as ” too tall”. According to The New York Times, Abramovich hired the American firm Raine Group to look for potential buyers for Chelsea, who have been contacted to launch their proposals with a Friday deadline, which could reduce the sale value. US investors are also interested, but Bloomberg did not reveal their names because they requested anonymity.

The sale is given a critical context for the Russian image in the world. Since Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, ordered the invasion of Ukrainian territory, the world has turned its back on that country in financial and organizational matters in which sport is not excluded. In Abramovich’s case, his withdrawal is due to pressure from British politics, which does not want to have him as one of his active businessmen. So far, he is the only Russian owner of an international sports club forced to resign.

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