In an interesting turn of events the UK ministers, have deliberated on the funds raised by the sale of Chelsea in May 2022. Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch sold the London-based club when his UK assets were frozen amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A proposal was raised to spend the $3 million raised by the sale of the club to be donated to Israel instead of the initially intended country of Ukraine.
Thank you mr Abramovich
Welcome Todd Boehly 🔵⚪️🥳 pic.twitter.com/W5VJkNRVGK
— THE CHELSEA FORUM (@TheChelseaForum) May 24, 2022
The private proposal, however, could not find approval. The proposal was turned down as it was seen as a move by Abramovich to avoid criticism in Russia. The Ministers put the proposal forward after the attacks on Israel by Hamas.
According to The Telegraph, the proposal brought a lot of attention to the meeting, and the matter was discussed deliberately. The funds are deposited in several UK accounts of the Russian oligarch. These accounts were frozen after Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022.
Roman Abramovich first promised to donate the funds to “all Ukraine war victims” in March 2022. But, since then the events have taken a turn as one side of the story tells that the oligarch himself wanted to donate the funds to Israel. Abramovich adopted the citizenship of the Middle East in 2018.
🚨 A proposal to divert Roman Abramovich’s £2.34bn Chelsea sale fund to Israel rather than Ukraine was discussed after the Hamas terrorist attack.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) November 30, 2023
Another side reveals that Israel, the country itself, requested the funds in front of the UK Government. Abramovich, reportedly, had no idea about such deliberations. The UK Government rejected using the funds as humanitarian aid for South Israel.
The ministers of the UK had signed a unilateral declaration with the European Union in May 2023. The declaration stipulated that the Chelsea fund would go ‘exclusively’ to Ukraine. It is reported that the disapproval between the UK and Moscow meant the funds remained unused.
How much did Abramovich pay to acquire Chelsea in 2003?
The Roman Abramovich era began when he bought the club from the erstwhile owner Ken Bates in 2003. Interestingly, Bates himself purchased the club for just a dollar in 1982. But this also included the outstanding debts of the club. Abramovich was handed the ownership of the club for the price of $233 million and this attracted huge discussions in England back then.
Roman Abramovich in 2003 when he bought @ChelseaFC from Ken Bates. “It’s not about making money. I have much less risky ways of making money… it’s really about having fun and that means success and trophies.” pic.twitter.com/MuNvjD1Q0S
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) March 5, 2022
Abramovich completely changed the fate of Chelsea forever. The London club went from being Premier League minnows to becoming Champions League winners twice during his 18 years at the club. He also saw his club win the PL 5 times.
The Russian was known for spending big in the transfer window, bringing the best talents in the world to Stamford Bridge. He was infamous for making some cold-blooded decisions. Abramovich would constantly switch managers in quick succession when results on the pitch weren’t favorable.
The Russian, with a heavy heart, parted ways with his beloved club after 18 years. Abramovich’s close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin also accelerated the sale. The club was then purchased by American businessman Todd Boehly.
Even after the sale, controversies haven’t left chasing him. The recent issue with donating the sale funds has caused an upheaval in the politics of the UK. It would be interesting to see if the UK bulges over the pressure of Moscow, or if Israel scores a tactical victory.