Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government on Thursday, putting the Stamford Bridge side’s future in doubt.
The PA news agency looks at what happened and what’s next for the Blues.
What happened to Abramovich?
1/4🧵 Putin’s assault on Ukraine continues and we are seeing new levels of crime by the hour. Today, the Government announced further sanctions against individuals with ties to the Russian Government. This list includes Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club.
– Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) March 10, 2022
The UK government has imposed sanctions on Abramovich for “a person who has been/is engaged in destabilizing Ukraine”, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government believes Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich has enjoyed a “close relationship for decades” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Abramovich has always denied those links.
What does that mean for Chelsea?
There can be no safe haven for those who have supported Putin’s invasion.
Today’s sanctions are the latest step in our ruthless crackdown on those who allowed the killing of civilians, the destruction of hospitals and the illegal occupation of Ukraine.https://t.co/VCwRnsvEps pic.twitter.com/1cj2XVVpWi
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 10, 2022
Chelsea will likely be frozen like other Abramovich properties in the UK, but to get a special government license allowing the Stamford Bridge club to continue operating.
What’s in the future for Chelsea?
Statement from Roman Abramovich.
– Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 2, 2022
Abramovich put the club up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, a sale is still possible despite sanctions against Abramovich, but that would require special government intervention.
So how will the sale of Chelsea now take place?
The government has said it remains “open” to the possibility of selling Chelsea, but that would require approval from the Treasury for a new license. Most interested parties are now expected to continue their candidacy. Abramovich will not be allowed to profit from the sale. The 55-year-old has pledged to donate all proceeds from the sale of Chelsea to a new charity to benefit the victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The government can oversee the sale entirely, with funds frozen or redirected to a charity programme. Or Abramovich could be allowed to continue selling, but that would require tight conditions and oversight.
Can Chelsea continue to play the match?
Yes. The Blues will continue with their games, for both the men’s and women’s teams. Chelsea is looking to amend its government operating license to allow as close to normal operations as possible.
What about wire transfer?
Currently, Chelsea have not been able to sign any players, nor can they complete new contracts for existing stars. This leaves senior players Cesar Azpilicueta, Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in limbo, with the contracts of all three set to expire this summer. Barcelona are confident of completing a free transfer for Christensen at the end of the season, and have also made strong moves for Azpilicueta. Rudiger was said to have been close to a new deal with Chelsea before Abramovich decided to sell the club, but recent events have turned things upside down.
How will this affect supporters?
Aside from worries about the club’s future, fans are unlikely to buy any new tickets to see Chelsea for the time being. Season ticket holders can attend matches at Stamford Bridge, and tickets sold before 10 March will be honored. But there will be no new sales. A similar situation happened with goods, when the Chelsea club at Stamford Bridge closed mid-morning on Thursday.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/what-has-happened-at-chelsea-and-how-will-it-impact-players-and-fans-41432465.html What happened at Chelsea and how will it impact the players and fans?