Chelsea news live: Roman Abramovich sanctioned, club sale and ticket sales stopped

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK government

The government will issue Chelsea Football Club with a special licence to allow them to compete

Glittering Abramovich era brought to abrupt halt

Abramovich has changed the face of British football in his time as Chelsea owner, leading the Blues to 21 trophies in 19 years in a clean sweep of all global competitions.

But that era has been brought to a halt amid Vladimir Putin and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The club are current European champions having won the Champions League back in May, but as things stand, should they progress in this year’s tournament – they are currently 2-0 up against Lille after the last-16 first-leg tie – no supporters would be permitted to attend the quarter-final.

Roman Abramovich has seen Chelsea win numerous trophies during his reign

Chelsea games still permitted to be broadcast

Chelsea’s televised fixtures are still permitted to be broadcast under the terms of the special licence granted by the government.

“Broadcasters may broadcast any Fixtures involving the Club,” it confirms.

That will begin with Sunday’s home game with Newcastle United which is scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports.

Tonight’s rearranged match with Norwich City was not originally selected for broadcast.

Chelsea banned from player transfers and new contracts

The club is allowed to continue with ‘football-related activities’ but a number of other elements will now change.

The club are barred from selling any new match tickets with only season ticket holders allowed to attend games.

There will be no merchandise allowed to be sold by the club, no player transfers in or out while any new contracts are also on hold.

That last part particularly pertinent for the likes of star defender Antonio Rudiger and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who are both out of contract at the end of the current season.

Chelsea sale put on hold

British billionaire Nick Candy was the latest high-profile business magnate to throw their hat into the ring for Chelsea’s sale, amid a host of suitors for the Champions League holders.

Swiss tycoon Hansjorg Wyss and American investor Todd Boehly were also in the running, with more than 10 credible parties understood to have been compiling bids.

The Chelsea squad will continue to prepare for Thursday’s Premier League clash at Norwich as normal, but everyone at the club will now set about examining the details of the current situation.

Chelsea reassured after Roman Abramovich hit by sanctions

The shape of Chelsea’s long-term future has naturally been thrown into doubt by today’s sanctions, but government ministers have been quick to insist any damage would be limited.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said on Twitter: “Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account.

“Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chelsea and its fans. We have been working hard to ensure the club and the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.

“To ensure the club can continue to compete and operate we are issuing a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches while, crucially, depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club.

“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. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them.”

Chelsea given special licence to continue ‘football related activities'

Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003 and has always staunchly denied any current political links to Russia’s ruling elite, but Boris Johnson’s government has now frozen all his UK assets.

Abramovich has moved to offload the club in recent weeks but this move will now see the proposed sale of the Premier League club blocked.

They have, however, been handed a special licence to continue with “football related activities” meaning tonight’s Premier League game with Norwich City still goes ahead.

‘The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands’, Liz Truss claims

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.

“Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine.”

Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK government

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK for his links to Vladimir Putin as the Government pressures Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Described as a pro-Kremlin oligarch, Mr Abramovich was hit with an asset freeze and a travel ban in an updated sanctions list published on Thursday after ministers came under sustained pressure to target him.

The Government document says he has had a “close relationship for decades” with the Russian President. “This association has included obtaining a financial benefit or other material benefit from Putin and the Government of Russia,” it says.

The move will see Chelsea frozen as an asset but given special permission to continue operating as a football club. The proposed sale is now barred, however, and the club will no longer be able to sell tickets to games amongst other fallout.

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