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10th Mar 2022

Chelsea “not allowed to sell tickets” after Roman Abramovich sanctioned

Simon Lloyd

Abramovich’s UK assets have been frozen

Chelsea will not be able to sell tickets to supporters after it was revealed outgoing owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government over his links to Vladimir Putin.

A government report has named Abramovich as part of a wave of sanctions being placed on individuals with ties to the Russian president in response to the invasion of Ukraine. All of his assets in the UK have now been frozen.

Despite the 55-year-old recently confirming his intention to sell the Premier League club, the development clearly has consequences for Chelsea.

Although they have been granted a sporting licence to continue trading as a football club, Abramovich is barred from selling the club without gaining special dispensation from the government.

The measures also have a direct impact on supporters, with only season ticket holders permitted to attend games at Stamford Bridge. This also means that there will be no future sales to away supporters, though tickets already sold will not be affected, as highlighted by AP journalist Rob Harris.

“To ensure the club can continue to compete and 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,” a government statement said.

A statement from the government report explained the decision to freeze Abramovich’s assets. It read: “Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich hereafter Abramovich is a prominent Russian businessman and pro-Kremlin oligarch.

“Abramovich is associated with a person who is or has been involved in destabilising Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, namely Vladimir Putin, with whom Abramobvich has had a close relationship for decades.”

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