Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK Government with Chelsea sale now on hold

Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government, freezing the Russian-Israeli billionaire’s planned sale of Chelsea.

By Nick Purewal, PA
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 9:42 am

The 55-year-old put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 in the wake of Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003 and has always staunchly denied any current political links to Russia’s ruling elite, but Boris Johnson’s Government has now frozen all his UK assets.

Chelsea will be given a special licence to continue operation, but the sale of the Stamford Bridge club is now on hold.

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Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government, freezing the Russian-Israeli billionaire’s planned sale of Chelsea.

The shape of Chelsea’s long-term future has naturally been thrown into doubt, but Government ministers were quick to insist any damage would be limited.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said on Twitter: “Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account.

“Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chelsea and its fans. We have been working hard to ensure the club & the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.

“To ensure the club can continue to compete and operate we are issuing a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches while, crucially, depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club.

“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. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them.”