Premier League side Chelsea Football Club have been essentially banned from all transfer activities, football revenue generating activities that include match tickets sales following sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovic by the Government of the United Kingdom, as part of its steps to clamp down on Russian oligarchs deemed allies of Russia president, Vladimir Putin.
The UK Government has imposed sanctions of the Chelsea owner, Abramovic, who is one of seven Russian oligarchs who have been sanctioned, which has seen their assets frozen and as well hit with travel bans.
Roman Abramovic has had his UK assets frozen which includes Chelsea, prohibited from transacting business with UK individuals and businesses, hit with a travel ban and transport sanctions. The UK Government has stated, that Chelsea would be given a special licence to operate, but only existing ticket holders can attend games. As part of the new sanctions, Chelsea have been restricted from spending more than £20,000 on any away game travel, starting with their Champions League game against Ligue 1 side Lille away next Wednesday.
The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, that “Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies”.
Chelsea’s owner Abramovic, 55, has been accused of having strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, an allegation he has since denied. The new sanctions of the Russian puts his possibility of his decision to sell Chelsea in serious doubt, given that the property has currently be seized by the UK Government.
On the way forward and the new licence given to by the Government to Chelsea to continue operating and fulfilling their fixtures, the Government said:
“Given the significant impact that today’s sanctions would have on Chelsea football club and the potential knock on effects of this, the Government has this morning published a licence which authorises a number of football-related activities to continue at Chelsea.
“This includes permissions for the club to continue playing matches and other football related activity which will in turn protect the Premier League, the wider football pyramid, loyal fans and other clubs. This licence will only allow certain explicitly named actions to ensure the designated individual is not able to circumvent UK sanctions. The licence will be kept under constant review and we will work closely with the football authorities.”
The implications are that, Abramovic can no longer sell Chelsea in the time being, the club can’t sell tickets or merchandise, they can’t sign new players or sell current ones, neither can current players sign a new contract.