Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, who completed the sale of Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea at the weekend, pledged on Monday to give a sizeable chunk of their fee to victims of the Russian invasion.
Mudryk will cost the Blues up to 100 million euros with an initial fee of 70 million euros and the remaining 30 million euros in performance-related add-ons.
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“I am allocating $25 million (UAH 1 billion) today to help our soldiers, defenders, and their families,” said Shakhtar President Rinat Akhmetov in a statement.
“The money will be used to cover different needs — from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests.”
Akhmetov’s ‘Heart of Azovstal’ project is named after the steelworks in the port city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine which held out for weeks under sustained attack from Russian forces in the spring of 2022 before surrendering.
“Their acts of bravery are unparalleled in the modern history,” said Akhmetov.
“It is them, their sacrifice and courage that helped contain the enemy in the first months of the war and let all of us feel the inevitability of the victory of Ukraine now.”
Akhmetov said he was “happy for Mykhaylo and proud of him” for landing the move to Chelsea.
“I am absolutely confident that the entire Europe will acclaim Mykhaylo’s brilliant and fine play.
“On the other hand, I have never made it a secret that my dream is to win European trophies.
“This means that players like Mudryk should be invited to our club, to our Ukrainian championship, and we should win European trophies with such players, rather than root for them, even when they play in the world’s top clubs.
“Unfortunately, it is impossible now, as Ukraine is fighting the horrendous and unjust war waged against us by the Russian Federation. But I am confident that we will win.”