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Roman Abramovich: Death and destruction in Ukraine affected the legacy of the Russian oligarch in Chelsea


The bloody battle in Ukraine and worldwide outrage over Russia’s invasion introduced renewed consideration to Abramovich and his possession of Chelsea.

It’s a spotlight that has make clear the jarring friction between sport and politics: Abramovich the dream-turned-football proprietor – beloved by many Chelsea followers – versus Abramovich’s Russian elite.

Days after the battle broke out, because the West reacted by imposing sanctions on Russia and its oligarchs, Abramovich’s belongings – which included Chelsea – appeared extra susceptible to the extra punitive monetary setting and he quickly bought the membership. introduced its plan.

Chelsea will somewhat shielded By sanctions, allowed to proceed to hold out its fixtures underneath a particular license. But this implies the membership has not been in a position to promote merchandise or tickets for video games owned by Abramovich, have interaction within the switch market, or difficulty new contracts to gamers.
Last month British MP Kris Bryant referred to as on Abramovich to lose possession of Chelsea after seeing a leaked 2019 UK Home Office doc that flagged the 55-year-old’s considerations “with the Russian state and corrupt activity and practices”. their public relations”. MP mentioned Parliament,
based on this ReutersAbramovich has been granted Portuguese and Israeli citizenship in recent times.

“Surely, Mr. Abramovich ought to not personal a soccer membership on this nation?” Bryant said.

Abramovich’s representative did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on whether the oligarch was approved.

Reputable football business inspired by Abramovich’s massive financial investments – upwards of $1.99 billion according to blogger Swiss Ramble – Chelsea have enjoyed an unprecedented period of success since the club’s $233 million takeover in June 2003.
“I do not wish to throw away my cash,” Abramovich told the bbc After the acquisition, “nevertheless it’s actually about having enjoyable and which means success and trophies.”

According to Chelsea, during the 19 years under Abramovich, the club has collected 21 major trophies. After winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last month, Chelsea have officially won the biggest trophy ever at the club’s disposal.

‘Thanks Mr. Abramovich’

It is the gratitude for this golden age that sparked a wide tide of admiration among fans as well as former players for the elite on the announcement of the imminent sale of the club.

“The Best,” Former Captain John Terry tweetedWith a photo of him and Abramovich celebrating another Premier League win in 2017.

A statement from the Chelsea Supporters Trust (CST) board explained the widespread dissemination of emotion among fans of the club on social media, thanking Abramovich for “his affection, ardour and dedication” during the tenure that brought him “unparalleled success”.

“Chelsea supporters will always remember all the things he has achieved for our membership. Thank you Mr. Abramovich,” Statement Added, published ahead of the announcement of sanctions by the UK government.

According to Richard Weeks, who is one of the founders of the Chelsea supporters’ group ‘We Are the Shade’, the “Roman Empire” helped make supporters’ wildest dreams come true.

“The final 20 years have enabled Chelsea supporters to reside their finest lives,” Weeks told CNN before Abramovich was approved.

“Travelling around the world to celebrate and win the biggest prizes in football, you simply cannot ask for more and for this reason, Roman will forever hold a place in the hearts of Chelsea supporters.

The end of the ‘Roman Empire’ with Chelsea as the “Champions of the World” could not be a more fitting conclusion to this chapter of our history.”

‘scorched air’

If the previous 19 years have been full of golden recollections and trophy after trophy, the times and months forward appear extra unsure.

In mild of the sanctions imposed on Abramovich and the ensuing affect on Chelsea, the membership issued a Statement Confirming that “permission to amend the license will be sought to allow the club to operate as normally as possible.”

Amidst such uproar, CST requested to hearken to the voices of the supporters.

“Supporters should be involved in any conversation about the ongoing impact on the club and its global fan base,” the group mentioned in a press release. Twitter,

“CST urges the Government to conduct an expedited process to offer supporters and supporters a golden share as part of the sale of the club, in order to reduce uncertainty over the future of Chelsea.”

Chelsea beat Norwich 3-1 in their latest English Premier League match on 10 March.

The sanctions additionally stop the sale of the membership, till the issuance of a particular licence.

In his preliminary assertion printed on the membership’s web site previous to its approval, Abramovich said that the web proceeds from the sale can be donated to a basis established “for the benefit of all the victims of the war in Ukraine”.

The assertion was clearly obscure as to who is perhaps particularly a sufferer; Critics of Abramovich identified that the wording may enable his new basis to assist the households of Russian troopers.

“Roman Abramovich is very sensitive to what is happening now,” Mikhail Khordokovsky, an exiled oligarch and Putin critic, just lately instructed CNN earlier than the sanctions had been introduced.

“I don’t have any information, but I can’t imagine he made any decisions without first consulting with Putin.

“Even although, which means he is received a gust of scorching air. The fireplace is burning underneath President Putin,” Khodorkovsky said, referring to Abramovich’s plan to sell Chelsea. Khodorkovsky said.

In 2018 the US Treasury launched the names of 210 outstanding Russians, dubbed “Putin List”.

The administration was required to name companies and individuals and consider whether to sanction them under the law, meant to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 US election, as well as its human rights violations, the annexation of Crimea. , and ongoing military operations in eastern Ukraine .

In a Facebook post at the time, Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev said the list, which included Abramovich, read that the US had “merely rewritten the Kremlin’s cellphone guide.”

But if Abramovich’s current wealth and apparent security in Russia reflect an affinity with Putin, he may be in danger with the UK government.

“He is among the few oligarchs of the Nineties who maintained prominence underneath Putin. None of our allies have but accredited Abramovich,” the UK authorities mentioned in a press release. Statement on Thursday. Canada has since accredited Abramovich as effectively.
Abramovich made a fortune in steel and investingTaking advantage of the massive privatization that characterized Boris Yeltsin’s premiership after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Abramovich’s wealth, estimated at $ 14.5 billion in 2022 ForbesLed influence within Russian political circles as he was first elected to the State Duma and then appointed governor of Chukotka from 2000 to 2008.

a nervous future

While Weeks acknowledged that the incoming owner’s status as an oligarch played on his mind in 2003, he said fans would have little power to reverse the takeover regardless of their feelings.

“Chelsea followers selected to not purchase,” said Weeks, “it’s unlikely that any pushback would have modified the choice at a time once we had stopped to consider the morality behind it.”

“Today people want to look at things a little deeper, to understand right and wrong, and to know with respect to football clubs that whoever is representing their team is in line with their ideologies and beliefs. This is a good thing. Is. .

“Only time will inform if our sentiment in direction of his character will change, however for now, Chelsea supporters can not deny the enjoyment he introduced throughout his time right here and for that we’re grateful.”

The controversy between praise and criticism manifested itself in Chelsea’s league fixtures at Burnley on 5 March and Norwich City on 10 March.

As a minute of applause erupted in tribute to Ukraine earlier than the Burnley recreation, Abramovich’s name spells might be heard on sky game Broadcasted before being drowned by Boos from the Stand.

Chances after the game denounced Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

“If we show solidarity, we show solidarity and we must do it together. We kneel together, if other clubs or someone important from our club dies unfortunately, we show a minute of respect Tuchel told reporters after the game, which Chelsea won 4-0.

“This is just not the time to present one other message, it is a second to indicate respect. We do that as a result of we’re the identical as a membership, we present respect as a membership. We have to present our followers this applause. Must be dedicated to the minute. The second.

“We do it for Ukraine, there is no second opinion about the situation there. They have our views and our support, and we must stand together as a club.”

Players, officials and fans erupted in applause as a sign of peace and sympathy with Ukraine ahead of Burnley facing Chelsea.

Beyond this mixture of emotion amongst followers is an equally sturdy sense of concern. Rumors of potential consumers proceed, nevertheless it stays to be seen when the membership’s future will likely be clear.

Who would be the new proprietor? Will they have the option or keen to speculate the identical amount of cash as Abramovich? Will they attempt to take Chelsea away from Stamford Bridge?

After almost 20 years of seeing nothing however success, these questions and extra have Weeks’ thoughts “whirlpool.”

“Finally Roman clearly outlined that ownership of Chelsea was never meant for financial gain, would the new owner collapse like this? Not likely,” mentioned Weeks.

“This is worrying, as, above all else, it may be the supporters who pay the price in the end.”


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