Chelsea sale put on hold as Abramovich sanctioned by UK government
Blues issued special licence enabling club to play fixtures
The sale of Chelsea has been put on hold after the club was among the assets seized by the UK government as part of its new sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich.
Abramovich is one of seven Russian oligarchs to have new sanctions imposed upon him on Thursday as part of the government’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Chelsea owner is alleged to have close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, and the government had been under increasing pressure to sanction him.
Abramovich announced his intention to sell Chelsea earlier this month amid the threat of such sanctions, placing a £3bn price tag on the Premier League outfit.
However, that sale is now on hold, while Chelsea will also be hit by a number of other restrictions, including being banned from selling any more tickets that have not already been sold.
Existing season ticket holders will still be allowed to attend matches, while the club has been permitted to continue operating due to its status as a significant cultural asset.
Chelsea will therefore be able to fulfil their scheduled fixtures, while staff and players will continue to be paid, but Abramovich will not be able to make any further money out of the club.
The merchandise shop will therefore be closed, and any payments Chelsea do receive in this time will be frozen.
The reigning European and world champions are permitted to spend a maximum of £500,000 on staging games and will still be allowed to pay any outstanding transfer fees.
The license imposed upon Chelsea also means that they are unable to spend more than £20,000 on travel to any away game, raising doubt over their Champions League last 16 second leg against Lille next week.
The license will run until May 31, with the government able to vary, revoke or suspend any of the sanctions at any time.
During this period Chelsea will also be banned from signing any new players, although the current license will expire before the summer transfer window opens.