Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich has given trustees of the London side’s charitable foundation stewardship of the Premier League club.
Abramovich and Chelsea did not reveal why he was giving the foundation stewardship of the European champion club.
Yet several Russian individuals and entities have been put under sanctions by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich, who bought the London club in 2003, said on Saturday the foundation was in the “best position to look after the interests” of the club.
The news still came as a shock on the eve of Chelsea playing in Sunday’s League Cup final against Liverpool.
“I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities,” Abramovich said in a statement.
“I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values.”
Abramovich has himself not faced any sanctions yet.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday that uncertainty over Abramovich’s future was weighing on the club ahead of the final.