Abramovich refuses loan request for Chelsea sale
Roman Abramovich has denied reports he will seek repayment of a £1.5bn loan for the sale of Chelsea.
The Russian billionaire put the Premier League club up for sale on March 2, insisting he would not recall the loan he had accrued during his 19-year reign and that all proceeds from the sale of the club would go to victims of the war in Ukraine.
Abramovich was subsequently sanctioned by the British government and the European Union for his links with Russian President Vladimir Putin, forcing Chelsea to operate under a special licence.
This license expires on May 31, with fears over the club’s future if a sale does not take place before the end of the month.
The report states “Abramovich says the sanctions prevented him from being able to write off this debt.”
Other reports suggested that Abramovich had asked bidders to raise their bids by an additional £500 million to support war victims.
A statement posted on the Chelsea website said; “Mr Abramovich’s intentions regarding donating the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea to charity have not changed,” a spokesperson for Abramovich said in a statement.
“Mr. Abramovich hasn’t asked for any loan repayments, such suggestions are entirely false – just like the suggestions that Mr. Abramovich raised the price of the club at the last minute.
“As part of Mr Abramovich’s aim to find a good goalkeeper for Chelsea FC, however, he has encouraged every candidate throughout this process to commit to investing in the club – including the Academy , the women’s team, the necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of the Chelsea Foundation.
According to the press release, the funds from the sale will be frozen and “subject to a legal procedure governed by the authorities”.
However, Abramovich’s goal is for the money to go to a newly created charitable foundation.
Chelsea are expected to aim for a world record price for a sports club of around £2.5billion.
US bank Raine began the process of selling the club with the bid submitted by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly receiving preferred bidder status.
Boehly has joined forces with Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, British businessman Jonathan Goldstein, Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US investment firm Clearlake Capital.
Earlier on Thursday, the Chelsea Supporters Trust (CST) called for a quick and transparent sale to secure the club’s future.
CSE said; “It is essential that the sale of Chelsea is completed quickly and transparently.
“We urge the current owners, Raine and the UK Government to ensure this happens.
“Any delay in this process could jeopardize the future of Chelsea – all parties must ensure the sustainability and future of the club.”
Under the terms of their licence, Chelsea are currently unable to offer new contracts to existing players or sign players from other clubs.