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Abramovich officially sanctioned by UK government in move that blocks Chelsea sale

Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the government with the Russian’s UK assets frozen, in a move that will place his sale of Chelsea on hold.

Abramovich last week announced his intention to sell Chelsea following the scrutiny he has faced in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the looming threat of government sanctions.

 

The 55-year-old is one of seven Russian oligarchs who have had sanctions placed on them by ministers on Thursday, with Sky News reporting that the sanctions will come into force before a sale of the club can be finalised.

Abramovich has been prohibited from transactions with UK individuals and businesses, forcing his sale of the club to be placed on hold.

Speaking on the decision to impose sanctions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.

“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.”

The move will have a major impact on Chelsea, who can still operate under a special licence. However, the sale of the club will now be on hold. The west Londoners will also not be permitted to sell tickets, with only season ticket holders able to attend games for the immediate future.

Chelsea will also be unable to negotiate new contracts with players, a situation which could lead to the exits of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta at the end of the season with the defensive trio all set to become free agents this summer.

Chelsea had expected to receive an official approach from British property developer Nick Candy this week, with a bid of £2.5billion to be submitted.

Candy is a boyhood fan of the Blues and had held talks with American investors over forming a consortium, with the offer expected to include plans for a £1.5bn rebuild of Stamford Bridge.

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