Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK

Quick Summary

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich – a Russian billionaire – has been sanctioned by the UK government along with six other oligarchs. 

The new sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans and mean Abramovich’s attempt to sell Chelsea football club is currently on hold. 

The new sanctions are part of the UK and its allies’ attempts to issue stronger sanctions against individuals and businesses with links to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. The ongoing sanctions are in direct response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. 

In-depth analysis

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK

Roman Abramovich – the owner of Chelsea football club – has officially been sanctioned by the UK government as part of its sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. 

Abramovich is one of seven oligarchs that have been hit with new sanctions – which include asset freezes and travel bans. Russian billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska also make the sanction list – both are seen as allies to Putin. 

Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK

PM Boris Johnson has said, “there can be no safe havens” for anyone who has supported this invasion. 

“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,” Boris Johnson said.

The government had faced backlash over not sanctioning Abramovich – who announced he would be selling Chelsea FC earlier this month.

But with the new sanctions, Mr Abramovich’s assets have been frozen and Chelsea FC has been seized from him – the sale of the club is now on hold.

The government says it will issue a special licence to allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and ticket holders to attend matches.

Anyone holding a season ticket can still attend games they have tickets for but the club cannot sell any more tickets for games. 

The club’s merchandise shop will also be closed. 

Roman Abramovic net worth 

The 55-year-old Russian billionaire has a net worth of around £4bn and is believed to have strong ties to the Russian President, though Abramovich has strongly denied the claims. 

Although many other sources claim Roman Abramovic net worth is closer to £7bn.  

The government says Abramovich is “one of the few oligarchs from the 1990s to maintain prominence under Putin”.

Abramovich has stakes in steel company Evraz, Norilsk Nickel and sold a 73% stake in Russian oil firm Sibneft to stare-owned gas titan Gazprom for £9.87bn in 2005. 

The government have stressed that the club would not be “unnecessarily harmed” by the sanctions. 

The UK, USA and allies have been strengthening their sanctions against those linked to the Russian president  – both individuals and businesses since the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. 

The government said Thursday’s sanctions against “seven of Russia’s wealthiest and most influential oligarchs” were part of the UK’s “efforts to isolate Putin and those around him”.

The Guardian’s take on the latest Roman Abramovich news leads with the Chelsea FC owner being left unable to sell the football club, as the new sanctions put a freeze on the assets. The article reports that the club has been given a ‘special license’ to carry on with football-related activities, easing fears of Chelsea fans

The Daily Mail leads with fans’ reactions – quoting one fan as saying ‘It’s the end of  Chelsea as we know it’. The paper says supporters are ‘stunned’ and fear the worst following the UK government’s sanctions against the Russian billionaire. The paper says the sale of the club is on hold, a transfer ban has been imposed and fans are unable to buy tickets or merchandise

The Telegraph reports that despite the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, potential buyers are still keen on Chelsea FC. The sale of the club can still go ahead if Abramovich agrees to allow the government to take over the process. The club is expected to sell for around £2bn

Like this article?

Leave a comment

Get access to our free Fitness classes with your membership and a perfectly crafted email with your news summary