As British lawmakers take aim at wealthy Russians, Roman Abramovich is fielding offers for the Premier League team. The suitors include a Swiss billionaire and a Los Angeles Dodgers owner.
Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch whose vast fortune transformed Chelsea into a global soccer powerhouse, is actively seeking to sell the team, setting a deadline of Friday for interested parties to submit “indicative offers” for the club he has owned for almost two decades. He is seeking at least $2.5 billion for the club, the New York Times reports.
Only days ago, Abramovich, 55, had announced his intention to transfer the “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to members of its charitable foundation. The move — in which he notably did not suggest he would surrender ownership of Chelsea — was seemingly designed to distance the club from the impact of any possible sanctions levied by the British government against him as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Britain this week proposed new legislation targeting wealthy Russians like Abramovich, many of whom amassed their fortunes through cronyism or ties to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, and then shielded it overseas behind shell companies and opaque investment deals.
Though Abramovich suggested in a rare public statement that the Chelsea foundation trustees were best placed to “look after the interests of the club, players, staff and fans,” he has in recent days tasked the Raine Group, a New York advisory firm, with identifying a new owner for the team. Prospective investors have been informed they must have prepared an outline of their bid by the end of this week.
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