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‘The party is over’ – Chelsea ‘need to become far more self-sustaining’ after Abramovich exit

Chelsea will ‘need to become far more self-sustaining’ once Roman Abramovich finalises his sale of the club.

Abramovich has announced his decision to sell Chelsea after almost two decades of ownership, with the Russian billionaire facing scrutiny and possible sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

 

The news has shocked the west Londoners and left Chelsea facing huge uncertainty, The Athletic having discussed developments with those behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich’s announcement over his intended exit came with confirmation he would not seek repayment for the £1.5bn worth of debts the club have incurred to the owner, a figure which demonstrates how Chelsea have lived outside of their means to become the most successful side in England during his ownership.

The club sources have said Chelsea will need to become more self-sustainable regardless of who assumes ownership from Abramovich, given how the Russian has bank-rolled the side since taking the reins in 2003.

There are also concerns from inside Chelsea that key personnel in the hierarchy who have been tasked with running the club day-to-day – including chairman Bruce Buck, director Marina Granovskai and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech – could depart with Abramovich’s exit.

Each have played prominent roles in Chelsea’s success of recent season, but it remains to be seen how each work with a different ownership.

However, the sale of Chelsea is not anticipated to be straightforward. Abramovich’s asking price of £3bn and a determination to pass the club onto the right owner leaves the Blues short of potential options to succeed the Russian.

There has also been moral reservations from consultancy firms who would usually be quick to offer their services for such a sale, which could elongate the process further and perhaps drag a sale into the summer or beyond.

Chelsea will want their ownership situation sorted as soon as possible, in a bid to avoid disruption heading into next season.

The timing has come at a time when the Blues have been looking to negotiate new contracts for Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta, with each out of contract at the end fo the season and interesting sides across Europe.

Thomas Tuchel’s transfer plans this summer could also be impacted should the situation take time to resolve in the coming months.

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