Premier League • England

Roman Abramovich labels Chelsea ownership as ‘honour of a lifetime’, sends message to Todd Boehly

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich has sent a parting message to Chelsea as Todd Boehly and his consortium prepare to take full ownership of the club.

The Premier League has approved a takeover from the Clearlake Capital consortium, of which Boehly is a major player. And earlier on Saturday, Chelsea confirmed the sale was on the verge of being finalised. The Blues expect it to go through on Monday.

Abramovich has been Chelsea owner since 2003, but his tenure will end next week after UK Government sanctions on the Russian.

In a statement, Abramovich said it had been ‘an honour of a lifetime’ to represent Chelsea, while he also wished success to Boehly and his team.

“It has been nearly three months since I announced my intention to sell Chelsea FC,” Abramovich said. “During this time, the team have worked hard to find the right custodian for Chelsea FC that would be best positioned to successfully lead the club into its next chapter.

“The ownership of this club comes with great responsibility. Since I came to Chelsea nearly 20 years ago, I have witnessed first-hand what this club can achieve.

“My goal has been to ensure that the next owner has a mindset that will enable success for the men’s and women’s team, as well as the will and drive to continue developing other key aspects of the club, such as the academy and the vital work of Chelsea Foundation.

“I am pleased this search has now come to a successful conclusion. As I hand over Chelsea to its new custodians, I would like to wish them the best of success. Both on and off the pitch.”

Roman Abramovich ‘proud’ of Chelsea spell

Abramovich added: “It has been an honour of a lifetime to be a part of this club. I would like to thank all the club’s past and current players, staff, and of course fans for these incredible years.

“I am proud that as a result of our joint successes, millions of people will now benefit from the new charitable foundation which is being established. This is the legacy which we have created together.”

Boehly, along with first-team manager Thomas Tuchel, is facing plenty of transfer decisions ahead of next season.

Chelsea sale approved and Boehly gives £200m to spend

Chelsea sale has been approved by UK Government and will have £200m to spend this summer

The Blues must replace centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. They will depart for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively this summer.

Barcelona also want to land Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso. So Chelsea must reject these proposals and inform the pair of their ambitious plans going forward.

Chelsea chiefs also need to decide what to do with Romelu Lukaku. He cost £97.5million last summer but had a tough campaign back at Stamford Bridge.

Inter are keeping an eye on the Belgian’s situation and could aim to engineer a loan return for him.

Meanwhile, The Guardian suggest an integral Chelsea midfielder is wanted by Manchester United.