Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has said he plans to sell the club.
In a statement posted on the Premier League club’s website, Russian businessman Abramovich described the decision as “extremely difficult” and “painful”.
The profits from the sale of the club will be donated to the victims of the Ukraine-Russia war, he said.
Abramovich said on Saturday that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chelsea would be handed over to its patrons.
How much is the price?
His remarks sparked speculation that Chelsea would now be put up for sale.
Abramovich has borrowed 1.5 billion pounds.
Billionaire Vis Hansyork told Swiss magazine Blick on Wednesday that he had been offered a deal with Chelsea.
According to Viss, Abramovich has demanded an “immediate release” from Chelsea following a warning from the Russian parliament.
Abramovich, 55, is said to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But he has been denying that.
He described the sale of the club as “all profits donated to war victims in Ukraine”.
According to BBC Sports, Abramovich has already received an offer to buy Chelsea. He is said to have valued the club at 3 billion pounds.
“I have always made decisions with the club in mind,” Abramovich said in a statement.
“In the current situation, I have decided to sell the club, which I believe is in the interest of the club, the fans, the staff, and the sponsors and partners as well.”
“The sale of the club will be processed and not fast. There is no need to repay any loan.”
“I have asked my team to set up a charitable organization through which all profits will be donated. This organization will be for the people affected by the war in Ukraine.”
Abramovich bought it in 2003 for 140 million pounds.