Chelsea Seized by UK Govt as Roman Abramovich is sanctioned


Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been added to a list of sanctioned individuals by the UK Government as part of the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The Russian billionaire, 55, has had his assets frozen, meaning he will be no longer be able to sell the Premier League club as planned.

Abramovich, who allegedly has close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin, put the Blues up for sale on March 2.

The UK government have granted Chelsea a special license to allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches. Sky Sports, however, reports that it is unclear if the license covers just Chelsea’s first team or all teams, including the women’s and junior sides.

Nadine Dorries, the UK’s minister for Sport and Culture, tweeted: “I know this brings some uncertainty, but the Government will work with the league & 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.”

This includes being unable to sell tickets, meaning only season ticket holders will be able to attend games at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future, and shutting the club shop.

With a number of players out of contract in the summer, including skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, it remains to be seen how the latest development will affect the squad.

What does the special licence mean for Chelsea?

– The wages of all employees, including players and coaching staff, can be paid. 

– The club can pay ‘reasonable’ costs of travel to and from fixtures but not exceeding £20,000 per game per team. 

– Chelsea can pay ‘reasonable’ costs towards hosting home fixtures, not exceeding £500,000 per fixture per team. 

– Fans who bought season tickets or individual match tickets before March 10 can attend games. 

– Any fixture involving the club can be broadcast.