New development in Chelsea takeover race amid £750m grassroots push

Roman Abramovich has already stated that he wants proceeds to go to victims of the war in Ukraine after he was sanctioned over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mr Johnson is said to want the money to go towards a foundation that will help Ukraine recover from the Russian invasion but there are concerns about the practicalities of setting one up so quickly with such a large budget.

Former Arsenal co-owner David Dein has written to the minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, to urge that £750million is put aside for the game.

He wants ministers to use the money to help to build more than 1,000 artificial pitches, improve 20,000 playing surfaces and invest in changing rooms.

Dein wrote: “While, to date, the focus has been on the buyers, there is a crucial question of where the proceeds from the sale go. Without question, the victims of the war in Ukraine should be central in our thoughts and anything we can do to use this sale money to support humanitarian efforts should be welcomed.”

But he added: “Investment in coaching, pitches, academies and facilities in deprived and left-behind areas could be game-changing for communities and young people.

“It could help to create a new generation of English football stars while also supporting community cohesion, new jobs, reducing youth crime and helping grow and develop girls’ and women’s football. These are all cross-government priorities and I hope that Her Majesty’s government maybe able to work together to create a game-changing opportunity.”

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