Abramovich sold the Premier League football club in a £4.25 billion ($4.9 billion) deal in May
The majority of the £2.5 billion ($2.9 billion) raised by the sale of Premier League football club Chelsea is still in the frozen bank account of a company belonging to former owner Roman Abramovich, The Times has reported.
Ahead of his assets being frozen by the UK government for alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, Abramovich put the club he had owned since 2003 on the market on March 2.
Overseen by British authorities and New York investment bank Raine, a sale was still allowed to go ahead providing Abramovich did not benefit in any way.
After an intense process of almost three months, the West London giants were then sold for £2.5 billion ($2.9 billion) to a consortium led by Todd Boehly, which pledged to pump a further £1.75 billion ($2 billion) into the club.
Three months on, however, The Times reports that the majority of the £2.5 billion amount ($2.9 billion) from the sale is still in the account of Abramovich’s holding company Fordstam Ltd, through which he previously owned Chelsea over a near 20-year reign.
A small sum has reportedly been released to go on start-up costs for a charitable foundation to aid victims of the military operation in Ukraine, but one British MP claimed the UK Foreign Office had been “hopelessly slow” in organizing the distribution of the money to do this.
While Abramovich took Chelsea from being also-rans to a continental force that won every piece of silverware on offer, including the Champions League twice, life under Todd Boehly’s ownership has seen some challenging early days.
With his charges gaining just seven points from five matches while ninth in the Premier League table, coach Thomas Tuchel has demanded that they “toughen up” following their latest 2-1 defeat to Southampton midweek.
Boehly, however, has not been shy to spend, much like Abramovich did at the height of his powers.
On Wednesday, his group were believed to have shelled out £70 million ($81 million) plus £5 million ($5.8 million) in add-ons for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana, taking Chelsea’s summer spending spree past $250 million with Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly other notable arrivals.
Chelsea summer spending spree surpasses $250 million
On deadline day, Chelsea are also said to be closing in on FC Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a fee of €14 million ($14 million) as Marcos Alonso heads in the opposite direction.
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