Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government and has his assets frozen. Although Chelsea has been given a special license that allows them to continue playing games, the club has been plunged into uncertainty even though the owner had earlier announced plans to sell up.
Mr Abramovich’s assets are frozen and sale of the Premier League club halted for time being although Chelsea can operate under special licence. Chelsea club shop must close and no more match tickets can be sold. The fans who bought season tickets or individual match tickets before today can attend games and they did as the European Champions smashed Norwich 3-1. The club can fulfil fixtures and pay wages of all employees, including players and coaching staff. Although no new player sales or purchases will be permitted under the licence, and discussions on new deals for players who are out of contract in the summer must go on hold.
Chelsea can pay “reasonable” costs of travel to and from fixtures but not exceeding £20,000 per game per team. They can pay “reasonable” costs towards hosting home fixtures, not exceeding £500,000 per fixture per team and broadcasters can broadcast any fixture involving the club.
“Abramovich is associated with a person who is/has been involved in destabilizing Ukraine & undermining/threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty & independence of Ukraine, namely Vladimir Putin, with whom (he) has had close relationship for decades,” the UK government’s statement about the sanctions reads.
Abramovich bought Chelsea for a sum reported at the time to be in the region of £150m and has invested over 2 billion Pounds into the club but now he’ll receive no profits from the sale even though he had already pledged the money to Ukraine. Up to 8 serious buyers have come forward with the asking price for the club now at 3 billion. Many Chelsea fans chanted Abramovich’s name as Chelsea beat Norwich City in the Premier League on Thursday night as they strengthened their hopes of a top 3 finish.