Connect with us


Abramovich has put the Blues up for sale – and wants £3BILLION




Roman Abramovich has put Chelsea up for sale and wants around £3billion for the club.

Chelsea believe a sale to a US tycoon is their best route, despite Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss claiming he has been offered the chance to join a £2bn consortium with ‘six or seven’ other investors to buy the club.

Russian oligarch Abramovich has previously turned down offers worth £2.2bn for Chelsea, while the club’s debt to him is £1.51bn.

It is believed a US merchant bank has been put in charge of selling the club.

Wyss, an 86-year-old medical magnate worth a reported £4.3bn, has admitted interest in purchasing the Stamford Bridge club from Abramovich, but only in a consortium.

Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich had publicly expressed his desire to retain ownership of Chelsea, but that could prove close to impossible should the UK Government impose sanctions on the 55-year-old.

Wyss has admitted he will look into the details of any possible deal to buy Chelsea, with the asking price thought to push beyond £2billion.

‘Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,’ Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick.


‘I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich. I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2 billion. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.’

Abramovich attempted to step back from the daily running of Chelsea on Saturday, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Blues boss has tried to hand the ‘stewardship and care’ of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation trustees.

That led the Charity Commission to contact the Stamford Bridge club for more detail on Abramovich’s plans, after several of the trustees raised concerns over technicalities.

Labour MP Chris Bryant has called for the UK Government to impose sanctions on Abramovich after a number of Russian oligarchs have already fallen under such penalties.

Abramovich is understood to have attempted to hand control of Chelsea to the foundation trustees in a bid to protect the club.

The Chelsea owner would not receive any protection from sanctions through stepping away from daily control at Stamford Bridge.

Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday that Chelsea trustees will insist on an impenetrable indemnity policy before agreeing to Abramovich’s plan to pass over stewardship of the club to its charitable foundation.

Abramovich’s proposal, which was announced on Saturday night, is in the balance with a number of trustees extremely apprehensive about accepting stewardship of the Stamford Bridge club.

And Sportsmail has learned that one of the main conditions the trustees will insist on is the inclusion of a robust indemnity insurance policy to ensure they are not liable for any financial ramifications the club may suffer while they are put in charge.

As we reported on Monday, trustees hold a number of concerns in relation to Abramovich’s plan, which was sprung on the trustees with very little notice on Saturday night.

Conflict of interest is understood to be among the key apprehensions, while the morality of being the face of a football club and business that has been linked to the Russian regime that has invaded Ukraine is another major consideration for trustees.


However, the sheer responsibility of playing such a key role within a business that turned over £434.8million for the previous financial year is known to be the leading concern amongst a number of trustees.

As we revealed, Chelsea has instructed lawyers to start building the legal framework to facilitate Abramovich’s stewardship recommendation and those individuals in line will seek a strong protection policy before agreeing.

During the interim there will be a period of status quo, which will allow trustees who include: Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, John Devine, a partner at the law firm Muckle LLP, club director of finance Paul Ramos, women’s head coach Emma Hayes, executive director of anti-discrimination group Fare, Piara Powar, and the chairman of the British Olympic Association, Sir Hugh Robertson, time to consider whether they want to be part of the process.

Chelsea are aware of the problems they may face in convincing trustees and are said to be exploring other options.


Sportsmail reported on Monday that Chelsea have been asked to prove Abramovich’s move does not represent a breach of the foundation’s charitable status.

Abramovich’s spokesperson said on Monday that the Russian-Israeli businessman was attempting to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Swiss billionaire Wyss, who founded medical device firm Synthes USA, insisted he could only consider a deal for Chelsea with a clutch of investment partners.

‘I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners,’ said Wyss. ‘But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone.

‘If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.’

Elsewhere, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel snapped on Tuesday as scrutiny intensified over Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea, with the manager insisting: ‘You have to stop asking me these questions. I have no answers’.

Tuchel fielded several questions on the ownership ahead of Wednesday night’s FA Cup trip to Luton before eventually saying: ‘Listen, listen, listen you have to stop, I’m not a politician.

‘You have to stop, honestly, I can only repeat it and I feel bad to repeat it because I’ve never experienced war.

‘So even to talk about it I feel bad because I’m very privileged – I sit here in peace. I do the best I can but you have to stop asking me these questions because I have no answers for you.’

A clearly frustrated Tuchel then slapped the table after being asked for his opinion on the conflict and Abramovich’s current status as owner of Chelsea.

Tuchel earlier said his side ‘are calm at the centre of a storm… which we cannot control and are not responsible for’.

The German insisted the best he and his players can do is to ‘focus on what we love and do’ – as they did against Liverpool in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

‘I think we have a right to focus on sports,’ he said.

‘Everyone is aware of more important things and the situation is Ukraine is by far more important. We still arrived with two strong teams to play a fantastic match. We arrived still to entertain the fans with a match of maximum effort and entertainment. I don’t know what we could do different.’

Meanwhile, fierce fighting is underway in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv this morning after Russian paratroopers dropped in and attacked a military hospital before airstrikes targeting police, state agencies and the security service.

Part of Karazin National University was on fire early Wednesday with the building partially collapsed after a missile – seemingly intended for the neighbouring police headquarters or interior ministry building – struck the college’s department of sociology instead.

At least 21 people have been killed an 112 wounded in shelling on Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, governor Oleg Synegubov said, as an interior ministry official added: ‘There are practically no areas left in Kharkiv where an artillery shell has not yet hit.’

It came as the Russian army renewed its assault on Ukraine after punishing losses in the early days. Putin’s forces captured the centre of Kherson, in the south, overnight though Ukraine retained overall control of the city, while Mariupol, also in the south, came under renewed shelling and Zhytomyr, to the west of Kyiv, was hit by an airstrike.

Ukraine’s armed forces said Wednesday morning that Russia is ‘trying to advance in all directions’ but are ‘being resisted everywhere and suffering losses’. It estimates that 5,840 Russian troops have been killed so far – though that figure cannot be verified.


President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has become a symbol of fierce resistance in recent days, decried Russia’s escalation of attacks on crowded urban areas as a blatant campaign of terror.

Since Russian troops rolled into Ukraine last week to achieve Putin’s mission of overthrowing Zelensky’s pro-Western government, hundreds of civilians have been reported killed.

Russian forces have carried out a massive bombing campaign and encircled urban centres, but Ukraine insists no major city has yet been overtaken.

A Swiss billionaire worth £4.3BN who founded a world leading maker of implants to mend bone fractures – and one of the ‘most philanthropic people in the world’ who has NEVER invested in sport: Who is Hansjorg Wyss, the 86-year-old looking to buy Chelsea?

Swiss medical magnate Hansjorg Wyss insists he has been given the opportunity to buy Chelsea as part of a consortium of ‘six or seven investors’ with Russian owner Roman Abramovich looking to sell.

The 86-year-old, worth a reported £4.3bn, has admitted interest in purchasing the reigning European champions.

‘Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,’ Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick. ‘I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.

‘I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners. But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone.

‘If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.’

But who is this 86-year-old billionaire who has no record of investing in sport, how did he make his fortune and what has he spent it on so far?

Born in the Swiss capital of Bern in 1935, Wyss was raised in an apartment with his two sisters.

He received a master’s degree in civil and structural engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in 1959 before going on to earn an MBA from Harvard six years later.

After spells in textile engineering – including in different roles for car manufacturer Chrysler in Pakistan, Turkey and the Philippines – he worked in the steel industry and ran a side business selling planes.

Through that side focus, Wyss met a surgeon who had co-founded Synthes, a medical device manufacturer. Spotting an opportunity, the Swiss founded and became president of Synthes USA in 1977.

Now, the company is the world’s largest maker of implants to mend bone fractures.

Under Wyss’ stewardship, the sales team of the American division expanded and trained surgeons how to use its products, such as internal screws and plates.

He was Synthes’ worldwide CEO and chairman until his resignation as CEO in 2007, and was company chairman until Johnson & Johnson – the medical company which developed a Covid vaccine – acquired the company five years later.

Wyss sold the company in 2012 for $19.7billion in cash and stock. Synthes is now part of their DePuy division.

He now holds stakes in publicly-traded biotech companies NovoCure and Molecular Partners.

Aside from the medical field, Wyss has been described as ‘among the most philanthropic people in the world’ according to Forbes.

He also has charitable foundations with assets of over $2 billion while, in 2014, he pledged $120m to two universities in Zurich – the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich where he obtained his first master’s – to establish a centre to accelerate medical breakthroughs.

Wyss has also pledged to donate $1 billion to conservation efforts around the world over a decade. Specifically, he donated the sum to the Wyss Campaign for Nature, aiming to conserve 30 per cent of the world’s land and oceans by 2030.

Away from philanthropic activity, Wyss has been in favour of higher inheritance taxes for Switzerland’s wealthy and is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a club of liberal donors.

There has also been a fascinating rivalry of sorts between Wyss, who supports liberal politics and fellow billionaire Christoph Blocher, who supports conservative politics.


Wyss highlighted the advantages of Swiss openness toward the EU and immigrants while Blocher advocated for Switzerland’s independence in those matters

Away from work, the 86-year-old is last known to live in Wyoming USA. He has one daughter, and enjoys hiking, skiing and backpacking, while he is also a hobby pilot.

He owns a 900-acre ranch in Paso Robles, California, and as of March 2022 he is ranked 451 on Forbes’ list of billionaires with a real time net worth of $5.1bn (£4.3bn)