The Chelsea stuff continues to dominate the headlines.
Roman Abramovich has now officially put the club up for sale, stating that he is “writing of the loan” and “net proceeds with be donated to a charity he is setting up for the people of Ukraine”.
It is all PR guff and raises a lot of questions.
Writing off the loan really does not change much.
Chelsea have been valued at around £3bn, and £1.5bn is owed to Roman.
If Abramovich was not “writing off the loan” then he would get nowhere near his value of the club.
A prospective investor would be looking to buy the club for £1.5bn, whilst also paying off the £1.5bn owed to Abramovich. Their total investment would still be £3bn.
By “writing off the loan” Roman can now ask for £3bn from the club, knowing that an investor will pay that to buy a debt-free asset.
In both scenarios, the Russian Oligarch would receive £3bn for the sale of Chelsea.
He also talked in his statement about donating the net proceeds of the sale to charity.
Now what the “net proceeds” are is also up for debate. Will it include what he is owed for the loan or not?
And in the small print, it transpires that Roman is setting up his own charitable fund to distribute the money; rather than giving the money to one of the many existing charities doing great work in Ukraine.
Why set up your own charity? Well so that you can siphon off in “legal” ways as we have seen recently with the Captain Tom Foundation.
This is all just sprots washing and money laundering.
Roman has taken his dirty money, earned during the break up of the Soviet Union where he was gifted national assets by his friend Vladimir Putin.
He has pumped that money into Chelsea, with no one in authority questioning where it came from.
Now he is selling the club, the money comes out clean.
By the time you take into account what he paid for the club and the loan, Roman would have “cleaned” nearly £2bn in ill-gotten gains.
It will then be put into a trust in somewhere like the British Virgin Isles, destined to be “donated to charity” but we all know it won’t be. The dust will die down and it will all be forgotten about.
The worst thing is, there are fans out there supporting Abramovich.
By buying Chelsea, he bought millions of supporters who will back him to the hilt just because he financed their success for 20 years.
There is clearly a split in their fan base.
The older fans are saying “thanks for the memories, time to say goodbye.”
Those that are younger are addicted to the success he bought and will back Roman no matter what it transpires that he has done.
Not really much Arsenal news floating about, but what is happening up at Chelsea does affect us.
Tomorrow we move onto other topics.