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Roman Abramovich Cedes Chelsea Role to Charitable Foundation

  • Russian billionaire has owned London club since 2003
  • Investors are weighing potential takeover offers for the team
Roman Abramovich celebrates Chelsea’s FIFA Club World Cup victory on Feb. 12.

Roman Abramovich celebrates Chelsea’s FIFA Club World Cup victory on Feb. 12.

Photographer: Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA
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Roman Abramovich handed direct control of Chelsea FC to the trustees of the Premier League soccer club’s charitable foundation, publicly seeking to distance himself from one of London’s biggest sporting assets as western leaders weigh further sanctions against Russia and its oligarchs.

“I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the club,” the 55-year-old billionaire, who snapped up Chelsea in 2003, said in a statement Saturday on the club’s website. “I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values.”