Why You Shouldn’t Feel Too Sorry For Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who owns Chelsea football club, has decided to sell the club over the fears that his presence at the club has raised the possibility the club could be affected by economic sanctions the UK has brought in as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich has pumped an incredible amount of money into the club over the years. In fact, the club owes him 1.5 billion pounds (2,007,118,500 USD), which he has said he is willing to write off in quite a generous gesture.

Chelsea fans (and fans of other clubs with Russian owners like Manchester United) have gone mad on Twitter praising Abramovich for his generosity.

One fan wrote: “Take a bow, Roman Abramovic… One of us.”

Another said: “So @UKLabour Roman Abramovic has put Chelsea up for sale, he’s righting off the £1.5bn the club owes him & the rest of the money from the sale is going to a foundation for the Ukrainian victims! & you think he’s the enemy? 🤦‍♂️”

Another – a fan of a rival club, Manchester United – wrote: “Roman Abramovic has put Chelsea up for sale for the ‘best interest of the club’. Hoping our Russian owners — Avram and Joel Yuri Usmanov Glazer — do the same for Man Utd.”

Despite all the fawning, however, Chief Soccer Correspondent for the New York Times, Rory Smith, has taken to Twitter to suggest we hesitate a second before feeling too sorry for Abramovic, who has a net worth of 13.1 billion USD.

“Roman Abramovich is selling Chelsea to whoever will take it off him, as fast as he can, because his presence has raised the possibility the club could be affected by actual economic sanctions. He is currently being cast as a ‘good owner,’ Smith said.

“It’s great that he’s giving all the net proceeds of the sale to a charity some people are setting up for him. Might be worth noting that his asking price currently covers all the money he’s pumped in over the years.”

“I get why Chelsea fans love(d) him,” he added. “I get that he made dreams come true. I believe he is fond of Chelsea. But surely being a good owner is in some way related to safeguarding the future of the club? It’s really hard to make the case Abramovich is doing that, even if he’s trying.”

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