British officials have called for sanctions against Abramovich. One member of parliament from the Labour Party, Chris Bryant, claimed the oligarch is looking to sell his London properties valued at some $260 million because he’s “terrified of being sanctioned.”
Chelsea FC released a statement by Abramovich in which he wrote: “In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.”
Abramovich, whose net worth has been pegged by Forbes at $12.6 billion, pledged that the sale of the team would “not be fast-tracked but will follow due process.”
Abramovich bought Chelsea FC for 140 million British pounds ($187 million). He is reportedly owed $2 billion by the club, though he has said he is willing to write off the loans in order to facilitate a sale.
Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss is one of several wealthy individuals who are expected to submit a bid for the Blues. A local media outlet in Switzerland is reporting that Abramovich’s asking price for Chelsea is $2.5 billion.