Roman Abramovich struck an emotional tone as he announced his decision to sell Chelsea Football Club in a statement on Wednesday.
The Russian billionaire said he will not be asking for any loans to be repaid despite reports that has he loaned the club more than £1.5bn.
Abramovich said he hopes he will “be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person”.
“I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC. As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart,” a statement on Chelsea website said.
“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 added that, “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. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club.
“Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated.
He added that, “The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.
“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the Club in this manner. However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the Club,” said Abramovich.
“I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person. It has been a privilege of a lifetime to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.”