Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich says he is planning to sell the club.
In a statement on the Premier League club’s website, businessman Abramovich said it was an “incredibly difficult decision to make”, which “pains” him.
Abramovich gave “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to its foundation trustees following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In his statement, he says he will not ask “for any loans to be repaid” and proceeds of the sale would be donated to war victims.
Earlier on Wednesday, Billionaire Hansjorg Wyss had told Swiss newspaper Blick he had been offered the chance to buy the west London club.
Wyss said Abramovich wanted “to get rid of Chelsea quickly” after the threat of sanctions was raised in Parliament.
Abramovich, 55, is alleged to have strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he has denied.
He says “all net proceeds from the sale” will be donated to the victims of the war in Ukraine.
In his statement, Abramovich added: “I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart.
“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.
“The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid.
“I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”
Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for £140m, and he says it has “never been about business nor money, but about pure passion for the game and club”.
Seismic moment for English football
Since his purchase of the club, Chelsea have been transformed, setting the template for how much finance was needed to compete at the top end of the Premier League.
In total, Abramovich has loaned the club more than £1.5bn, which has helped to bring great success.
Under his ownership, the club have won the Champions League twice, both the Premier League and FA Cup five times, the Europa League twice and the League Cup three times.
In August 2021, they won the Uefa Super Cup and in February won their first Club World Cup, meaning the Blues have won every major trophy possible since Abramovich took over at the club. (BBC)