The former club of Abramovich gave money to the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The Ukrainian football club Shakhtar will spend a billion hryvnias ($25 million) received from the transfer of midfielder Mykhailo Mudryk to the British FC Chelsea to help the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This was announced by the president of Shakhtar, businessman Rinat Akhmetov.

He specified that the money would go to the defenders of Mariupol and the families of the fallen soldiers. For this, the project “The Heart of Azovstal” will be created. “Their feat is unparalleled in modern history. It is thanks to them, their sacrifice and courage in containing the enemy in the first months of the war that we all today feel the inevitability of Ukraine’s victory. <...> The funds will be directed to various needs – from treatment, psychological assistance, prosthetics to the implementation of targeted requests,” Akhmetov said.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the businessman has donated 4.3 billion hryvnia ($110 million) to the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and is the largest private sponsor of the Ukrainian troops.

On the eve of 22-year-old Mudrik signed a contract with Chelsea for 8.5 years. The amount of the transfer was 70 million more 30 million is provided as bonuses. The deal was a record in the history of Ukrainian football. Mudrik will wear number 15. On Sunday 15 January he was introduced to the fans at half-time in the home match against Crystal Palace: Mudryk entered the field wrapped in the Ukrainian flag.

The player is a graduate of Shakhtar. He joined the Pitmen’s academy in 2016, and in autumn 2018, at the age of 17, he made his debut in the first team. In total, he played 44 matches for the Pitmen, scored 12 goals and made 17 assists, together with the team won the Ukrainian Super Cup in 2021.

Mudrik was going to buy another British club – Arsenal, but Chelsea intercepted the player at the last moment, voicing more favorable conditions. Mudrik will receive more than £100,000 a week against £50,000 originally offered by Arsenal.

Until May, Chelsea was owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. He bought the club in 2003 for £140 million. With him, the team won 21 trophies. Abramovich was forced to sell Chelsea after the start of the war in Ukraine: he fell under British sanctions as “an oligarch close to Vladimir Putin”, which put the club in danger of ruin.

The new owner of the team was a group of investors led by American billionaire Todd Boely. The deal amounted to £4.24 billion (€5 billion), but Abramovich did not receive a cent of them, otherwise the British authorities would not have approved it. The money will go to charity and the development of the club, as well as national football in general.

Akhmetov said that after the liberation of Donetsk, Shakhtar will play a friendly match against Chelsea at the Donbass Arena. The funds raised will also be donated to charity.

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