Chelsea are PROBED by the Charity Commission over Roman Abramovich’s plan to hand the club over to trustees – who are yet to accept despite legal framework of handover already starting
Chelsea have been asked to prove that Roman Abramovich’s plan to hand stewardship of the club to the trustees of the Chelsea Foundation would not represent a breach of its charitable status.
The Charity Commission contacted the club and the foundation on Monday to ask for more details of the Russian’s proposal — which, as Sportsmail reported on Sunday, the trustees have yet to accept.
Chelsea will be expected to spell out how the club and the foundation can remain separate entities if they are run by the same people, although a number of the trustees may opt to walk away due to their own misgivings.
Owner Roman Abramovich planned to hand control of Chelsea to its charitable foundation
Control of Chelsea remains unclear following Abramovich’s statement made on Saturday
‘We have contacted the charity seeking information and, in line with our guidance, the charity has also made a report to the commission,’ said a Charity Commission spokesperson. ‘We cannot comment further.’
Chelsea have instructed lawyers to start building the legal framework to facilitate the new venture, but completing that process is likely to take a while.
Until then there will be a period of status quo, which will give the trustees time to consider whether they want to remain involved.
The club have begun the process of building the legal framework to hand control to trustees
Chelsea Women’s head coach Emma Hayes is among the seven trustees of club’s Foundation
The six trustees are Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, director of finance Paul Ramos, women’s head coach Emma Hayes, executive director of anti-discrimination group Fare, Piara Powar, British Olympic Association chairman Sir Hugh Robertson and sports lawyer John Devine.
Several trustees are concerned about conflict of interest issues and being compromised due to Abramovich’s alleged links to Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime.
Chelsea do not need all trustees to agree in order for the plan to go ahead. Initial discussions with the trustees have already taken place with another video call planned for later this week.