Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich has been heavily sanctioned by the United Kingdom, and have all his assets in the UK frozen, thereby affecting the potential sale of Chelsea FC and other assets in the country.
This sanction was announced via the Twitter page of Martyn Ziegler, the chief sports reporter of The Times. He tweeted “Massive news: Roman Abramovich sanctioned. All UK assets frozen. Chelsea can still operate under a special licence but sale now on hold. Club will not be allowed to sell any more tickets – only season ticket holders can go to games for the foreseeable future”.
The United Kingdom has been sanctioning Russian billionaires and oligarchs but the billionaire had managed to stay off their list until today. However, he had reportedly been trying to sell off his properties in the UK due to the pressure he had been receiving from politicians and for fear of being sanctioned.
Last week Bloomberg reported that Chris Bryant, a member of Britain’s opposition party while speaking in a parliament in London stated that the billionaire intends to sell off his properties. Bryant said, “He’s terrified of being sanctioned, which is why he’s already going to sell his home tomorrow and sell another flat as well.”
A Swiss billionaire, Hansjoerg Wyss also said that he had received an offer to buy Chelsea on Tuesday, along with three other potential buyers. Sky News also reported that Abramovich’s advisers at the Raine Group are seeking bids of at least 3 billion pounds ($4 billion) for the club.
The Russian billionaire was sanctioned based on his connection with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. Regardless of the fact that he has been outspoken about his stand against the war and even went ahead to reach out to Ukraine in a bid to help them.
What this means for Chelsea FC
The sanction on the Russian oligarch means that he will not be able to sell Chelsea Football Club. The sanctions are intended to stop the billionaire from making any money in the UK – and this includes from Chelsea.
- However, an application to the UK government can be made to sell Chelsea in the future as long as Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich does not profit or make any money from the transaction.
- The sanction on the owner now means that Chelsea is banned from offering new contracts to players or staff.
- This comes at a time when three of their first-team players’ contract is set to expire on June 30 (Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Cesar Azpilicueta).
- They are also banned from conducting any official transfer business, selling new tickets for any game, selling merchandise to fans amongst other measures that ensure no new monies come into the business.
Abramovich’s properties in the UK
- The Russian Oligarch who has a net worth of $13.7 billion made most of his fortune through oil and metal in the early 2000’s. Analysts say that the U.K government believe that his association with Putin means that he obtained financial benefits from Putin and the Government of Russia.
- The Times reports that His Properties in the U.K that are now under sanction include, his £150 million mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens one of the most expensive streets in London and was once used as the Russian embassy.
- He owns a Triplex penthouse in the 37- Storey Chelsea Waterfront building potentially worth £30 million.
- He bought a Six-Storey townhouse in Eaton Square at £28 million. He also owns the Château de la Croe a 19th-century villa and former home to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The property is located in one of the most exclusive sections of the French Riviera and he spent £30 million for extensive renovation work.