UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is said to be considering a proposal to give some of the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea to grassroots football in the UK, while ensuring the majority goes to support Ukraine.
Exclusive No 10 is reluctant to let the £3 billion proceeds sit in a frozen bank account after Roman Abramovich, the club’s owner, was sanctioned over his links to Vladimir Putin.
The proposal to divert the Chelsea sale funds was spearheaded by former Arsenal part-owner / former vice-chairman of the FA David Dein.
The Football Foundation have held talks with Johnson’s senior advisors over the plan which suggests that “It could help to create a new generation of English football stars while also supporting community cohesion, new jobs, reducing youth crime and helping grow and develop girls’ and women’s football” as well as building 1,000 artificial pitches and improving 20,000 playing surfaces and changing rooms.
The prime minister is said to want the money to go towards a foundation that will help Ukraine recover from the Russian invasion, which tallies with Abramovich saying that the proceeds should go to victims of the war when he put the club on the market in March.
However, there are concerns about the practicalities of setting up a foundation so quickly with such with such a large budget.
Abramovich have the right to agree or disagree to any approach taken by the UK Govt, which is complicated by the fact that Chelsea owe Abramovich £1.54 billion lent to the club since his takeover. The sanctions prevent him from writing off this debt.