Roman Abramovich ‘refusing to sign off’ £2.3 billion Ukraine fund from Chelsea sale
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Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly refusing to sign off the £2.3 billion funding for Ukraine from the sale of the club last year.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich was forced to sell Chelsea on the back of sanctions placed upon him by the British government.
During the sale, the Russian businessman pledged a fund of £2.3 billion for Ukraine but that money is still frozen in a UK bank account.
According to the Daily Mail, Abramovich must ‘sign off’ the release of the money but he has reportedly declined to do so so far.
It is believed that Abramovich wants the fund to be shared across Russia as well as Ukraine.
According to the report, foreign office sources have confirmed this is the current situation.
Secretary of State, James Cleverly said last week that it is not confirmed whether the money will be released before the summer recess.
He said: “We want to make sure that the money that is released goes exclusively to the recipients it is aimed at. I need full reassurance that is the case.”
A source told the Daily Mail: “It was hoped the money was going to be transferred last summer, then we hoped for developments in January.
“Now we hope money will start arriving in Ukraine before harsh winter conditions set in again towards the end of the year, but there are currently no guarantees that will happen.”
Whilst football finance expert Kieran Maguire has said it is frustrating that the money is yet to be released.
He told Football Insider: “It is really disappointing that it has taken over a year for the funds from the Chelsea takeover to be released for good causes.
“I think the government in a certain sense has had its hands tied, as there are stories about trusts related to the beneficiaries of Roman Abramovich’s estate having reservations about how the money is distributed.
“So it is frustrating without a doubt, but I think it is difficult to find one individual party to pin the blame on. As always, the only winners in this process have been the lawyers.”