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Russian oligarch and Roman Abramovich, former owner of Chelsea FC issued a farewell statement to fans on Saturday, just hours after the club announced it had reached “a final and binding (sale) agreement” with Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly.
Abramovich, who owned the club for nearly 20 years before being sanctioned for his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said his aim to find a new owner came with “great responsibility”.
“Since I arrived at Chelsea almost 20 years ago, I have witnessed what this club can achieve. My aim has been to ensure that the next owner has a mindset that will allow the success of the men’s and women’s team, as well as the drive and desire to continue to develop other key aspects of the club, such as the academy and the vital work of the Chelsea Foundation,” the statement read.
“I am pleased that this search has now come to fruition. As I hand Chelsea over to their new goalkeepers, I would like to wish them the very best of luck, both on and off the pitch.”
CHELSEA SALE BY ROMAN ABRAMOVICH SANCTIONED APPROVED BY UK GOVERNMENT
Chelsea have been operating under government license since Abramovich’s assets were frozen in March following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. The deal is expected to be approved on Monday, just a day before the license expires.
“Chelsea Football Club can confirm that a final and binding agreement was reached last night to sell the club to the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Capital consortium,” the team announced earlier on Saturday.
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Boehly’s group was chosen on May 7 after securing a $2.2 billion investment in the team, the highest price ever for a sports team.
“It has been a lifetime honor to be part of this club. I would like to thank all of the club’s past and current players, staff and of course the fans for these amazing years,” added Abramovich.
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“I am proud that, thanks to our joint successes, millions of people are now benefiting from the new charitable foundation, which is being created. This is the legacy we have created together.”
The men’s team has won 21 trophies under Abramovich’s ownership.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.