Russian businessman Roman Abramovich has demanded additional 500 million pounds ($622 million) for Chelsea to increase the sale proceeds that will be donated to charity, Sky News reported on Thursday, citing a source.
According to the UK broadcaster, three potential buyers were informed about the demand earlier in the week and were inclined to agree to it.
Raine Group, the bank running the sale, is said to have told bidders that that in exchange for the request they will have some of their financing constraints relaxed.
An insider said that Abramovich had insisted that 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) would be donated to charitable causes immediately after the sale, while a minimum price for the football club will be 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion).
One investor participating in the auction said that Abramovich wished to have 2.5 billion pounds donated to charity, with a further 1-1.5 billion pounds spent on the club as an investment in its stadium, academy and women’s team. Thus, a total commitment of the club’s new owners will be within 3.5-4 billion pounds ($4.3-5 billion). It will also be one of the biggest charity donations in the UK history.
In March, the United Kingdom, in response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, imposed sanctions on Russian businessmen, including Abramovich, who owned Chelsea since 2003. Thus, the billionaire put Chelsea up for sale but he would not benefit from it.