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Chelsea trustees have ethical concerns over Abramovich's transfer of 'stewardship' and are yet to agree to request

6:01 PM EST 2/27/22
Roman Abramovich Chelsea owner
The owner made a shock announcement on Saturday confirming he would hand over "stewardship" of the club

The Chelsea trustees who have been handed control of the club by owner Roman Abramovich have ethical and legal concerns over the surprise announcement, and have yet to agree to the change.

Abramovich released a statement on Saturday confirming that he would be handing over "stewardship" of Chelsea to trustees of the club's charitable foundation.

The move comes amid the scrutiny the Russian oligarch has faced over his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine this week.

What has happened?

GOAL understands that the foundation members feel that there are legal and regulatory issues, as well as ethical concerns, over the switch.

Abramovich did not have any discussions with the trustees before making the announcement on Saturday.

It is also understood that the trustees are yet to agree to the request to take over the running of the club.

Is Abramovich's move an attempt to avoid sanctions?

Labour MP Chris Bryant has accused Abramovich of trying to avoid the UK government sanctioning him due to alleged links to the Russian state.

Bryant used parliamentary privilege on Thursday to say that in 2019, the Home Office identified links between Abramovich and the Russian state as well as to “corrupt activity and practices”.

Bryant said on Sunday to The Guardian: “I’m worried that this is a classic Russian ruse to save himself from being sanctioned.

“He could save himself a lot of bother by condemning Putin and his criminal invasion of Ukraine.”

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