Chelsea Football Club is in disarray after billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was hit by sanctions from the UK government.
The Russian Oligarch has had his assets frozen, so he will be unable to sell the West London club having announced his plans to do so earlier this month.
It means up to 10 buyers in the mix will be unable to buy the Premier League giants, whilst the club is also facing serious restrictions after a special sporting licence was put in place to allow them to keep operating, The Mirror UK reports.
The statement reports that Chelsea has been stopped from selling tickets and their club shop has been closed whilst there will be serious implications for Thomas Tuchel’s side with no contract renewals or transfers possible.
It also reports that “new contracts, player transfers or merchandise sales for Chelsea have been prohibited”.
Martyn Ziegler, Chief Sports Reporter for the Times, tweeted some of the implications for the club, saying, “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.
“Also: no merchandise sales allowed; no player transfers or new contracts; catering services will be permitted.”
Chelsea’s Supporters’ Trust (CST) has released a statement after the new development.
“The CST notes with concern the Government’s statement regarding the owner,” tweeted the group’s official account.
“Supporters MUST be involved in any conversation regarding ongoing impacts on the club and its global fan base.
“The CST implores the Government to conduct a swift process to minimise the uncertainty over Chelsea’s future, for supporters and for supporters to be given a golden share as part of a sale of the club.”
The sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich will expire on May 30, which may allow Chelsea to do business in the transfer market.
But there’s a big chance these sanctions will be renewed if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.
The government may still allow the sale of Chelsea to proceed, according to the BBC.
It’s believed Boris Johnson and his cabinet are considering a license that would permit the sale of the club, on the condition none of the proceeds goes to Roman Abramovich.