Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich recently put up the club for sale after controversy sparked due to his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched a brutal attack on Ukraine. He had relinquished the control of the club and handed it to the club trustees. It turns out that just five days before the reported bidding deadline, the United Kingdom Government sanctioned Roman Abramovich and he got his assets frozen which includes the Premier League giants.
UK Government freezes Roman Abramovich’s all UK-based assets including Chelsea FC
The UK government sanctioned Roman Abramovich for being “associated with a person who is or has been involved in destabilising Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, namely Vladimir Putin, with whom Abramovich has had a close relationship for decades.”
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) March 10, 2022
As it seems, Chelsea FC can continue to operate but on a somewhat limited basis. The side can play, train, and even get paid. They would receive broadcast fees and transfer fees but it would then be frozen as per the government’s instruction.
Massive news: Roman Abramovich sanctioned. All UK assets frozen. Chelsea can still operate under a special licence but sale now on hold. Club will not be allowed to sell any more tickets – only season ticket holders can go to games for the foreseeable future.
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 10, 2022
However, the new ticket sales are allowed (i.e. season ticket holders only, or presumably single tickets already sold), no merchandising operations (save for existing stock already acquired by third-party resellers), and apparently cannot spend on any sort of contractual (or transfer) business either, which might be a bit of a problem if it carries on too long.
The Russian billionaire had bought Chelsea for 140 million pounds in 2003. Under his regime, the club has won the Champions League twice and the Premier League five times. As per the reports, Roman Abramovich is hastily selling all of his properties in the UK and has even contacted Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss among others regarding the sale of the club.
The club may not be sold now, since it’s a frozen asset. These restrictions are currently set to expire on May 31, but that deadline is apparently irrelevant. We will have to how this situation progresses.