Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is one of seven oligarchs to be sanctioned by the UK government.
This comes as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with multiple oligarchs seen as allies of Vladimir Putin.
“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.”
As a result of this action, with Abramovich’s assets frozen, Chelsea FC will face multiple consequences.
Massive news: Roman Abramovich sanctioned. All UK assets frozen. Chelsea can still operate under a special licence but sale now on hold. Club will not be allowed to sell any more tickets – only season ticket holders can go to games for the foreseeable future.
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 10, 2022
The club will operate under a special sporting license but have been subject to a number of restrictions. This includes: no merchandise sales, no player transfers or new contract extensions.
Only fans who are season-ticket holders will be permitted to attend games, with no tickets allowed to be sold to home or away fans. The sanctions do allow them to continue to paying salaries of club staff.
Chelsea will still provide catering, security and stewarding for home games – though not exceeding the value of £500,000.
Abramovich previously announced his intentions to sell Chelsea, but that is now in limbo due to the sanctions imposed on him.
According to Steven Swinford, Political Editor at The Times, The Government would “need to give special dispensation for the sale of Chelsea“, and Abramovich would not receive a single penny from it should it go ahead.
The sanctions on the club will run until May 2022 unless they are renewed, revoked or the club is sold.