After an attempt was made to sell The Premier League football club, Chelsea, The United Kingdom has moved to stop Chelsea’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, from making more money from the deal.
The owner of Chelsea, Abramovich’s assets, including the club ranking the third position in the Premier League, have been frozen.
What does the sanction mean to Chelsea?
The sanctions have also led to the government issuing a special licence allowing fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket-holders who got their tickets before March 10th can attend matches.
However, it also means Chelsea cannot sell further match tickets and hangs at the edge of facial financial crunch.
The club is losing collaborators left, right and centre, including the shirt sponsors “Three” who asked to temporarily suspend their deal and remove their brand from shirts and around the stadium until further notice”.
“However, we feel that given the circumstances and the government sanction that is in place, it is the right thing to do.”
This will affect the team’s operation and its fan base. As fans get personal with their teams, anything against their expectations could stir anger and probably lose interest in cheering for the team.
The frozen club cannot engage in any activity, including selling their players, buying new ones, or offering contracts as long as Abramovich is under sanctions.
The club can “reasonable” pay costs of travel to and from fixtures has been capped to £20,000 per match, and hosting home fixtures, not exceeding £500,000 per fixture per team.
Chelsea has said they “intend to engage in discussions” with the government and will seek amendments to the special licence to “allow the club to operate as normal as possible”.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a new licence would need to be granted for the club to change hands and in a manner that would not allow the Russian to profit.
British Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, has taken it to Twitter, saying the government intends to protect the club.
“Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities.
“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,” she tweeted.
Abramovich has loaned Chelsea over £1.5bn since his purchase in 2003. Under his leadership, the club has won major trophies, including the Champions League twice, the Premier League and FA Cup five times, the Europa League twice and the League Cup three times.