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Chelsea news live updates: Roman Abramovich sanctioned as Three suspends deal with club

Roman Abramovich: Chelsea owner’s record-breaking tenure in numbers

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

Described as a pro-Kremlin oligarch, Abramovich has been 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 move sees Chelsea frozen as an asset but given special permission to continue operating as a football club although no match tickets or club merchandise can be sold amongst other measures.

The proposed sale of the club is also now barred although the government are “open” to it and could give special dispensation to a deal, as long as Abramovich doesn’t profit from it financially.

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Chelsea shirt sponsor Three suspends deal after Roman Abramovich sanctioned

Chelsea’s shirt sponsor Three has suspended its deal with the club after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government.

A statement by Three read: “In light of the government’s recently announced sanctions, we have requested Chelsea Football Club temporarily suspend our sponsorship of the club, including the removal of our brand from shirts and around the stadium until further notice.

“We recognise that this decision will impact the many Chelsea fans who follow their team passionately. However, we feel that given the circumstances, and the Government sanction that is in place, it is the right thing to do.

“As a mobile network, the best way we can support the people of Ukraine is to ensure refugees arriving in the UK from the conflict and customers currently in Ukraine can stay connected to the people who matter to them. Therefore, we are offering connectivity packages to all Ukrainians in the Uk, and those in Ukraine”.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:55

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Chelsea seek amendments to government licence in wake of Roman Abramovich sanctions

Chelsea are seeking amendments to the government’s operating licence in a bid to function “as normal as possible” in the wake of the sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:42

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Chelsea’s travel costs capped

Chelsea have been given special dispensation to continue operation due to the club’s important role in sport and society. Players and staff will continue to be paid, but the club cannot now sell additional tickets to those already sold.

The club can continue to spend money on travel to training and matches, up to £20,000 per game.

The club’s merchandise shop will be closed but stadium catering can continue as well as the hire of security and stewarding, up to a total cost of £500,000 per fixture.

Chelsea will still be able to receive money from existing Premier League TV deals, which will enable the club to pay its staff, but all incoming money will be frozen so that it cannot be withdrawn from the club.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:33

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‘It’s a difficult position’: Pep Guardiola sympathises with Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea players

The action, part of the government’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, means that the oligarch’s assets, including Chelsea, have been frozen.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:24

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No movement on player renewals

Andreas Christensen looks set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season and join Barcelona. Current club captain Cesar Azpilicueta also has an offer on the table from the Cataland giants and there are at least three clubs talking to Antonio Rudiger.

If Chelsea are not allowed to negotiate any player renewals – as is banned in their special licence – then all three players are likely to leave in the summer.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:16

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Chelsea sale still on the table

It is understood that there is still plenty of interest in the purchase of Chelsea Football Club despite current owner Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government.

At least 10 parties remain interested in the sale despite confusion and surprise about what happens next.

There is also confusion from those close to negotiations about the potential of a future Chelsea sale where none of the proceeds go to the Russian billionaire.

The UK government is open to considering a further addition to the special licence to allow such a sale to proceed.

Abramovich had instructed American investment firm Raine Group to seek £3bn for the club, but finance experts believe that an already inflated price could drop further given the current uncertainty around Chelsea.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:09

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‘So harsh’: Chelsea fans react after UK government sanctions Roman Abramovich

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on 2 March in the wake of Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine. He 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.

The government’s ‘oligarch taskforce’ has set about targeting those with links to the Kremlin and has sanctioned Abramovich due to his ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin, as well as his stake in the company Evraz PLC, which has been “potentially supplying steel to the Russian military which may have been used in the production of tanks”.

The news means Abramovich can no longer make money from the club, although Chelsea will continue to operate under a special licence granted by the government. Abramovich could technically still sell the club, providing he did not receive the proceeds, but Chelsea’s future appears in limbo.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:05

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Manchester United should swoop in for Tuchel says Carragher

Jamie Carragher says the situation at Chelsea, where the club have been put into financial paralysis due to the UK government’s sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich, provides Manchester United the perfect opportunity to poach the Blues manager.

“Manchester United have been presented with the ideal opportunity to recruit the manager who should be their number one target: Thomas Tuchel.” writes Carragher in his column for the Daily Telegraph.

“Tuchel, like everyone else at Stamford Bridge, will have no idea what the future holds at his current club. No-one can offer him any assurances about how the squad will look at the start of next season given the club’s sale is on hold. No manager wants to be working amid such a background of uncertainty. If he gets the chance to leave for a club of United’s stature, he must take it.

“United can offer him the security and backing every top coach craves. Yes, it will seem a predatory move – taking advantage of Chelsea’s crisis – but from United and Tuchel’s perspective the more you consider it, the more of a no-brainer it is.”

Michael Jones10 March 2022 16:01

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Football must learn a lesson from Roman Abramovich and Chelsea

For 19 years they felt like they won the lottery at Stamford Bridge. When Roman Abramovich paid £60million for the club it changed the nature of the game in England. Rival teams and fans hated Chelsea’s new-found wealth. Yet many of them hoped that a similar sugar daddy would turn up on their doorstep.

Abramovich’s arrival skewed the way English football operated. Manchester United and Liverpool ended up with leveraged buyouts because they were too desperate to look beyond the façade of those purporting to invest in their clubs. The Premier League stood by and did nothing. Manchester City hit the jackpot and, as recently as last year, Newcastle United supporters celebrated becoming the ‘richest club in the world,’ courtesy of questionable Saudi Arabian money.

Richard Scudamore, the former chief executive of the Premier League, a man who brought so much wealth to the top flight, waved away concerns about the dangers implicit in the new financial landscape. His stance was that the market would sort things out. It never did. Things just got more out of control.

There was always a concern about what might happen to Chelsea if Abramovich got bored and pulled out his cash. This was, after all, the club Ken Bates paid £1 for in 1982. Bates corrects those who say he bought the club. “I acquired the debts for a quid,” he always says. The Bridge has experienced perilous days before. The successes of the past two decades have been subsidised by the Russian owner.

Michael Jones10 March 2022 15:54

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

Following today’s sanctioning of Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, the UK 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.”

Prime minister, Boris Johnson, explained the reasoning behind the sanctions on Roman Abramovich and six others with links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine,” he said. “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.”

Michael Jones10 March 2022 15:45

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