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BBC pundit Alan Shearer demonstrates why he should ‘stick to football’

Alan Shearer had his say on Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell Chelsea on the BBC last night – it didn’t go well.

Shearer was reacting to a statement by the Chelsea owner that he has made the ‘incredibly difficult decision’ to sell the club in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich confirmed that the net proceeds from the sale will be donated to a charitable foundation set up to support the victims of the war in Ukraine.

The 55-year-old also announced that he will not be seeking repayment of any loans given to the club, which reportedly amount to more than £1.5 billion.

So far, so good, you would think. Not for Shearer.

He said: “Huge moment for Chelsea Football Club.

“He has brought massive success over his 20 years, but it is not as simple as selling the football club as we know it can take months, even years to sell a football club.

“But I still think, more importantly, there is still no condemnation from Roman or the club about what is happening in Ukraine.”

Shearer’s final words are mind-boggling.

Abramovich was careful about what he said and understandably so. There have been calls for him to sell the club. He’s doing that.

He will donate the net proceeds of the sale to support the victims of the war in Ukraine – in essence, he’s condemned the war.

However, Shearer thinks he should go further and start calling out Putin. On that basis, he would be well advised to chat with Marina Litvinenko.

Her husband – former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko – tried that and was assassinated for his troubles. A public enquiry in 2016 concluded Putin had probably approved the killing.

Shearer’s comments are all the more baffling given what he had to say when Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabian-led takeover was completed.

He claimed he was ‘excited’ by his former club’s move while briefly mentioning the need to ‘educate ourselves’ about ‘what we’re getting into’.

Maybe Shearer had missed the widespread reporting about human rights abuses in Saudi?

Perhaps he was asleep when journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dismembered with a bone saw after his execution was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

‘Stick to football’ is a common response to players and pundits when they comment on other topics – in some cases, it’s an unwarranted criticism.

However, where Shearer is concerned, sticking to football is exactly what he should do.

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