Chelsea fans baffled by two words in Roman Abramovich statement as he quits control


Chelsea fans have been left puzzled after owner Roman Abramovich released a rare statement confirming he is handing over the “stewardship” of the club.

The Russian billionaire’s announcement, published on the club’s official website on Saturday evening, has caused confusion among the Blues’ fans and the football world as to what it means for the future of the Premier League club.

In the short 110-word statement, Abramovich said he would be giving control over the club to the trustees of Chelsea’s charity foundation.

According to reports, Abramovich is not interested in selling Chelsea and is just handing over day-to-day control of the club while the club is under scrutiny following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There is no suggestion Abramovich is in any way involved in the situation in Ukraine, but this week Labour MP Chris Bryant had called for him to be banned from owning the club.

Roman Abramovich has handed over the "stewardship" of Chelsea to the trustees of the club's foundation
Roman Abramovich has handed over the “stewardship” of Chelsea to the trustees of the club’s foundation

And now, it appears the 55-year-old will take a backseat role for the foreseeable future.

Twitter user @CFCChristian wrote: “What does this mean? He’s just gone for a bit?”

Another user, Miguel, echoed his confusion: “No one understands what this actually means.”

Debby joined in the calls for more clarity, tweeting: “Someone should explain in football terms please”, while @TheoAFC said the statement “is phrased like a riddle.”

Another questioned the full extent of the words “care” and “stewardship”.

“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,” the statement read.

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Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck is one of the six trustees of the club's foundation
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck is one of the six trustees of the club’s foundation

“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.

“I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff, and fans.”

The trustees of the Chelsea Foundation named on the club’s official website will be familiar to Chelsea fans, with Bruce Buck, the club chairman, Emma Hayes, women’s team boss, listed as being board members.

Chelsea's future remains uncertain after Roman Abramovich's bombshell statement
Chelsea’s future remains uncertain after Roman Abramovich’s bombshell statement

Other names included are John Devine, a sports lawyer; Piara Powar, ex-Kick It Out CEO; Paul Ramos, director of finance and Sir Hugh Robertson from the BOA.

Still, there is little clarity as to what this announcement means for the club going forward on the eve of the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

While it seems like only a matter of time before the club provide further explanation on what it will mean for the club, the uncertainty surrounding Abramovich’s role is less than ideal preparation for Thomas Tuchel’s side ahead of their final on Sunday.