'I Wish to Explore This': Conor McGregor Eyes Buying Chelsea FC From Roman Abramovich

© AP Photo / Chelsea FC fans
Chelsea FC fans - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.03.2022
UFC star and business tycoon Conor McGregor may be on track to secure his next high-profile business investment. On Wednesday, McGregor tweeted a screenshot of a WhatsApp message reading, “Chelsea for sale, £3bn. Let’s buy it.”
The caption which accompanied the screenshot said, “I wish to explore this @ChelseaFC.”
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has owned the football club, based in London, since 2003. He announced that he is selling the club as a result of pressure from the British government in retaliation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
“As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners,” Abramovich announced in a statement on Wednesday, adding that he would set up a trust fund with the proceeds from the sale to benefit Ukraine.
Last week, British Member of Parliament Chris Bryant had called for Abramovich to sell Chelsea FC as response for a leaked UK document from 2019 that accuses Abramovich of having, “links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices”.
Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich applauds, as players celebrate their league title win at the end of the Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge in London. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2022
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Abramovich has reiterated that he is not an official political figure for Russia, and said in his statement that he would be setting up a “charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.”
He first bought Chelsea FC in 2003 for $190 million, and has since then turned down offers of the team for $2.9 billion.
Wednesday was not the first time UFC champ and business mogul, who owns a $2.2 million Dublin Pub, has expressed interest in buying a Premier League club. In April 2021 he showed interest in buying Manchester United.
Despite his repeated interest in purchasing a football club, McGregor does not have the means to purchase the billion dollar investment from Abramovich, according to Sports Illustrated. He was listed as the wealthiest sportsman in 2021 by Forbes with a net worth of just 170 million euros.
The mixed martial artist from Dublin is known for his Irish whiskey brand Proper No. 12, which generated $1 billion in sales in its first year. Rumors in Irish and British tabloids have also circulated regarding his possible connections with Irish gangster Graham ‘The Wig’ Whelan.
Abramovich is a Russian billionaire who is the largest shareholder of Evraz, Russia’s second-biggest steelmaker. He also owns stakes in Norilsk Nickel, the globe’s largest manufacturer of refined nickel.
According to Bloomberg, Abramovich was able to amass his wealth by quickly selling Russian state-owned assets he acquired after the fall of the Soviet Union, including Russian airline Aeroflot and oil firm Sibneft. In 2019, his net worth was estimated at $12.9 billion.
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