Part of the £89m ($109m) fee generated from the sale of Mykhailo Mudruk will go towards supporting Ukrainian soldiers, Shakhtar Donetsk have revealed.
Premier League heavyweights Chelsea have snapped up the 22-year-old winger during the January transfer window, with the Blues pipping London rivals Arsenal to a big-money deal. Parting with another prized asset has delivered mixed emotions for Shakhtar, as they helped to mould Mudryk into the player he is today, but they intend to put the funds received to good use by recognising the efforts of military forces caught up in a war against Russia.
Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov has said in a statement on the club’s official website:
“First and foremost, I want to thank the entire civilised world for helping Ukraine. Today we are able to talk about Ukrainian football thanks to the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian people, and the tremendous support of the entire civilised world. Only by joining efforts we will defeat the evil that has come to our homes. I have mixed feelings today. On the one hand, I am happy for Mykhaylo and proud of him. This guy is leading by example, showing that talent and hard work can make the impossible possible.
“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. And we will play a friendly against Chelsea at Donbass Arena in a Ukrainian Donetsk.We have to do everything we can to bring this day closer.”
“That is why I have made a decision to launch the Heart of Azovstal, a project designed to help Mariupol defenders and the families of fallen soldiers. Their acts of bravery are unparalleled in the modern history. 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. I am allocating $25 million (UAH 1 billion) today to help our soldiers, defenders, and their families. The money will be used to cover different needs — from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests. To ensure transparency, the project will have a professional independent team that will be in touch with the Azovstal defenders, their families, care providers, and volunteers. We are forever indebted to our soldiers!”Akhmetov added.
Mudryk made 44 appearances for Shakhtar after graduating out of their academy system, scoring 12 goals, and – after taking the No.15 shirt at Stamford Bridge – is hoping to fulfil his undoubted potential with a Chelsea side that has been struggling for consistency and an attacking spark in the 2022-23 campaign.