Hansjorg Wyss, one of the richest Swiss men, said on Wednesday that he had been given a chance to buy Chelsea, under the further control of English Premier League Owner Roman Abramovich. Eighty-six-year-old Wyss, the founder of Synthes, a medical device company, told the Swiss newspaper Blick that he and three other people had been pronounced dead on Tuesday.
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Abramovich announced on Saturday that he plans to place his ownership of European champions under the "stewardship and care" of Chelsea Foundation administrators.
Abramovich was not mentioned in the growing list of British sanctions targeting Russian banks, corporations and pro-Kremlin magnates.
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But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to explain why Abramovich was not appointed because of his acquaintance with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Abramovich is among Putin's closest advisers and friends," Wyss told Blick.
"Like all the other oligarchs, he is panicked. Abramovich is currently trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. Along with three other people, I received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.
"I have to wait four or five days. Abramovich is asking too much right now. Chelsea owes him £2 billion. But Chelsea has no money. This means that those who buy Chelsea must compensate Abramovich.
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"We do not yet know the exact sale price. I can very well imagine myself joining Chelsea with partners. First, I have to look carefully at the conditions. But what I can already tell you: I certainly wouldn't do such a thing alone. If I buy Chelsea, it will be with a consortium of six to seven investors."
Contacts in London, Chelsea declined to comment, while Abramovich's spokesman did not respond immediately.
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Johnson was asked in Warsaw on Tuesday why Abramovich was not personally mandated by the British government, as demanded by several British lawmakers.