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Home / Sports / Football News /  Russian billionaire put Chelsea Football Club up for sale, proceeds will go to Ukraine war victims
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Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said on Wednesday he would sell Chelsea Football Club, 19 years after buying it and setting the team on a path to sporting glory, and promised to donate money from the sale to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

Amid growing calls for Abramovich to be hit by sanctions after Russia's invasion of its neighbour, the metals magnate said in a statement that a sale was in the best interests of the reigning European and world soccer champions.

"In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club's sponsors and partners," he said.

Abramovich said he would not ask for loans he has made to the Premier League club - reported to total 1.5 billion pounds ($2.0 billion) - to be repaid to him and the sale would not be fast-tracked.

He has told his aides to set up a charitable foundation which would receive all net proceeds from the sale.

"The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine," Abramovich said in a statement.

"This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery."

Swiss business tycoon Hansjoerg Wyss told a newspaper that he was considering buying Chelsea from Abramovich who over the weekend said he was stepping back from running the club but made no mention of any plans to change its ownership.

"Abramovich is currently trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly now. I, along with three other people, received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich," Blick quoted Wyss as saying in an interview published on Wednesday.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted he cannot imagine life without Roman Abramovich at Chelesa.

"It's a bit too early to speak, because I can only think about Chelsea with Roman Abramovich. So it's very hard for me. It hasn't sunk in yet that this is going to stop. It's a massive change of course," Tuchel said.

Asked if the bombshell announcement had rocked his players given their creaky display for long periods against second tier Luton, Tuchel said: "They have internet connections, they watch TV so of course they knew, they get messages. But still we focused in the preparation only on sports.

"And maybe some players are more affected, some less, but in the end we managed to focus, grow into this game and find the key to win it."

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