UK Government sanctions Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

The UK Government has decided to freeze the assets of Roman Abramovich after passing a sanction against the Russian billionaire who attempted to sell Chelsea in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

With the growing concern of a sanction by the UK government, Roman Abramovich decided to sell Chelsea and said all the money prompted from the sales would be donated to victims of the war in Ukraine. 

Roman Abramovich wanted to escape the sanction and sold his house in the UK when things started escalating in the UK Parliament. 

Sanctioning his assets mean Chelsea cannot sell their match tickets, and the move is made to halt Abramovich from making money from Chelsea. 

But the UK Government have made amends for the club, and a special license has been provided to Chelsea, where they can compete in all the competitions and their staff will be paid, while the existing ticket-holders will be allowed to attend the games. 

In the aftermath of Abramovich’s sanction, Chelsea have released a statement “intend to engage in discussions” while the Government have said, “allow the club to operate as normal as possible”.

How will the sanction on Roman Abramovich affect Chelsea? 

The Blues will not be able to buy new players or sell other players until the sanction is imposed and Abramovich owned players who have been loaned to other clubs will be able to play for them. The merchandise shop of London has been shut.  

The UK government is contemplating giving Chelsea another special license to allow the sale of the club but they have put some conditions as it will only happen in one circumstance where the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, will not receive any funds. 

However, before selling the club, Roman Abramovich stated he would donate all the money from the club’s sale to victims of war.

Many billionaires showed interest in buying the clubs, and 20 interested parties were looking to buy the club, and one of them was British businessman Nick Candy. 

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has said “the government is committed to protecting” the club. “Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities.”

“I know this brings some uncertainty, but the government will work with the league and clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions-hit those intended.”

On the other hand, Chelsea’s shirt sponsor, telecommunications company Three, has placed the deal under review.

But what does a special license mean for Chelsea? 

- The club is allowed to pay its employees, including players and staff. 

- They will be allowed to pay a reasonable price of travel and fixture not going beyond £20,000 per match per team.  

- They can pay a reasonable amount towards hosting home games, not more than £500,000 per match per team. 

- Those who have bought match tickets before 10 March 2022 can watch the game in the stadium. 

- Broadcasters who have bought the broadcasting rights can broadcast any match involving the club. 

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