Chelsea sale: Government accuse Roman Abramovich of putting takeover in doubt with demands

Roman Abramovich will sell Chelsea after 19 years owning the Stamford Bridge club

The sale of Chelsea has reportedly been thrown into doubt with the government yet to receive assurances from Roman Abramovich over the terms of an agreed deal.

Abramovich, who has owned Chelsea for 19 years, announced his intention to sell the club in March after sanctions were levied against the billionaire after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A consortium led by Todd Boehly agreed to terms on a £4.25 billion deal last month, but a number of reports now suggest this may be in peril.

Several outlets suggest that there is concern within the government about the destination of the proceeds of the sale, and that Abramovich may be willing to let Chelsea “go under”.

A source inside the government told The Times: “There’s quite serious concern in government that the deal may fall apart and that Roman Abramovich is ultimately willing to let Chelsea go under.

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“There’s alarm in government about the gap between what Abramovich has said he will do publicly and what he’s willing to commit to legally as part of the sale process. There are pressing deadlines this week, and if there isn’t a breakthrough, we’re quite concerned that the sale of Chelsea could be timed out by certain sporting deadlines.”

Todd Boehly had appeared to be on the brink of a £4.25bn takeo er of Chelsea FC

Abramovich has stated previously that he has not asked for a £1.6bn loan to the club to be repaid upon the sale’s completion, but Sky News report that there is now concern over the fate of that loan.

Chelsea have been able to operate under a licence from the government while the club is sold, and will need a special licence to conclude the sale.

This must be issued by the end of May.

If the sale is not completed, Chelsea could face administration, or be excluded from club competitions next season.

The BBC suggest that Chelsea may not receive a licence to play in the 2022/23 Premier League season if the deal is not concluded by early June.

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