Roman Abramovich reportedly selling off UK assets worth billions, including soccer team, mansions, and private jets, out of fear that he will be slapped with sanctions.
By World Israel News Staff
Prominent Russian-Jewish businessman Roman Abramovich has announced that he will sell the Chelsea Football Club and donate the proceeds to support Ukrainians suffering from the ongoing war with Russia.
Reports suggest that the billionaire is seeking to offload other assets out of fear he will be slapped with sanctions.
In a press statement on Wednesday, Abramovich said that believes selling the team is in “the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.”
He noted that he would be forgiving some $2 billion in loans that he had made to the team, and all proceeds of the sale would be used for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
“This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club. Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated.
“The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.”
The statement comes on the heels of political pressure to sanction the UK-based businessman, as Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer had pressured Prime Minister Boris Johnson to freeze Abramovich’s assets.
Starmer claimed that Abramovich has “links to the Russian state” and “public association with corrupt activity and practices.”
Labour Party MP Chris Bryant charged that the UK government was running out of time to seize Abramovich’s assets, as the billionaire is “terrified of being sanctioned” and is already seeking to liquidate his holdings in the country.
UK media reported that the billionaire has quietly begun selling off his assets, looking to unload two London properties worth an estimated $267 million and $1.6 billion in private jets and super yachts.
Abramovich has vehemently denied that he has links to the Kremlin or Russian President Vladimir Putin.