Owner of Chelsea FC sanctioned by UK government
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Owner of Chelsea FC sanctioned by UK government

Roman Abramovich, owner of the illustrious London football club Chelsea FC, has been sanctioned by the UK government over connections with Vladimir Putin.

The sanctions placed on Abramovich mean he can no longer sell the club. In addition, the club will not be allowed to sign new players, sell tickets or even merchandise.

With Chelsea FC’s home stadium Stamford Bridge essentially closed to the public (except for season ticket holders), Chelsea fans are reeling. Most oppose Russia’s unlawful invasion of the Ukraine, but they still feel hard done by.

Roman Abramovich | Credit: Football.London

Abramovich is one of seven Russian oligarch’s to be targeted with new sanctions in connection to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Each are accused of benefiting from Putin’s regime.

The move, which was announced on Thursday morning, means Abramovich’s planned sale of Chelsea has been put on hold.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed the sanctions, “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,” he continued.

Abramovich is worth an estimated £10bn which is comprised of a £150m London mansion, two super-yachts and multiple private jets. Chelsea FC has an estimated worth £2.4bn.

The UK Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, tweeted, “Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account.”

Addressing the distraught Chelsea fans, Dorries stated, “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.

Among the other high profile oligarchs targeted by new sanctions are Igor Sechin, chair of oil company Rosneft, and Olag Deripaska, owner of aluminium producers EN+ Group. They have also been accused of benefiting from Putin’s regime.

The UK government has provided Chelsea a special licence to fulfil this season’s remaining fixtures and pay staff. Only existing ticket holders, however, will be allowed into games as all other ticket sales have been suspended.