Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been slammed by Piers Morgan for failing to condemn Russian president Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine in a club statement released on Saturday evening. Abramovich has ceded ‘stewardship’ of the Premier League club but remains the owner.
The billionaire made a rare public statement, confirming that stewardship of Chelsea had been passed on to trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation.
It read: “During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, 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.
“I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values.
“That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.
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“I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff, and fans.”
However, the statement was criticised by former Good Morning Britain host Morgan because it failed to mention Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is widely understood that Abramovich has passed on stewardship of Chelsea to remove the club from negative attention around his alleged association with president Putin.
“Very simple question for Abramovich: do you support the war or not?” Morgan tweeted.
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“Stop covering for him & ask Chelsea FC if he’s horrified or will condemn the war & Putin.”
Chelsea released a statement of their own on Sunday morning but it did not mention Abramovich or Russia.
“The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating,” it read.
“Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.”