Chelsea FC owner to step back from club, assist in Russia-Ukraine negotiations

Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer discusses how the Russian Chelsea Football Club owner is responding to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, Russian and Ukrainian officials have now wrapped up their first direct talks since this conflict began. Those talks playing out over at Ukraine's border with Belarus. The owner of Chelsea's Football Club has emerged as a potential broker for between the two countries. Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, said he has been asked by Ukraine to help support their attempts to reach a peaceful resolution with Russia. I want to bring in Yahoo Finance's Josh Schafer, who's covering the sports angle of this. And sports certainly not immune from this conflict, but let's start specifically with what's playing out with Chelsea.

JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, so Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, a Russian, announced on Saturday over the weekend that he'd be giving the trustees of Chelsea Charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC. So he's kind of taking a step back, at least publicly, from his involvement in Chelsea. Of course, he's still financially implicated there, and what Chelsea does still matters to him.

But this is a club that's obviously huge. It's one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Forbes has it estimated at about $3.2 billion. And so there's also reporting that he will be engaging in helping Ukraine in these negotiations with Russia. And it seems like he has a vested interest, of course, in peace there, but also the impact of his wallet. A lot of these billionaires own these big assets, and they don't want sanctions to come down on something like a soccer team that's worth about $3.2 billion. And it's a big event for him, so he's trying to kind of back off that, it seems.