Where Do the Roman Abramovich Sanctions Leave Chelsea FC?

The future of one of the English Premier League’s most successful teams has been cast into doubt after the British government hit its Russian billionaire owner with sanctions relating to the ongoing Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Roman Abramovich has an estimated net worth of $12.3 billion. The British government claims Abramovich is a “pro-Kremlin oligarch” who has a “close relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

World leaders are busy imposing sanctions on Russia and its ultra-wealthy business people, of which Abramovich is one. Abramovich made his fortune in gas but also has controlling investments in the steel industry, with the UK government claiming companies he owns could be producing steal for Russian tanks used in the Ukraine invasion. Most people know Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea F.C, the Premier League football club Abramovich bought for £140 million in July 2003.

Abramovich’s Huge Investment In Chelsea Football Club

Thanks to his massive financial investment in the team. Abramovich’s Chelsea embarked on a journey of success, winning the league title five times, the FA Cup five times, the League Cup three times, the lucrative UEFA Champions League twice, and the UEFA Europa League twice. Chelsea is currently fourth in the Premier League table and are odds on favorites with online sportsbook betnow to finish in the top four and earn a place in next season’s Champions League.

The club’s future is now in serious doubt because of the sanctions imposed on Abramovich. The UK government froze all of the Russian oligarch’s assets on March 10, including Chelsea Football Club. Under the sanctions, which have no specific timeframe, Chelsea is not allowed to sell matchday tickets, buy or sell players in the transfer market, offer players new contracts, nor is the club allowed to sell merchandise. However, the UK government has issued a special license allowing Chelsea to fulfill its remaining fixtures, staff to be paid, and existing ticket-holders to attend matches.

Chelsea’s wage bill is estimated to be approximately £28 million per month, and nobody other than the club’s executives know how much money they have in the bank. The club’s last set of financial figures shows it had £16 million available. Abramovich regularly injects money into Chelsea but cannot do so because of the new sanctions. What happens if Chelsea runs out of money and cannot pay players, staff, or any of its other overheads?

Abramovich Willing To Sell The Club For £3 Billion

The unprecedented move comes only a week or so after Abramovich revealed he is willing to sell Chelsea if the right buyer came along. In addition, he said the £1.5 billion he has loaned the club does not need paying back. Furthermore, Abramovich claims any profit he makes from the sale would be donated to the victims of the Russia-Ukraine war. However, he did not clarify which side the donation would benefit.

That sale is now up in the air despite at least ten parties interested in buying the Premier League outfit. The government is currently contemplating an addition to the special license it granted, which would allow the sale of the club so long as Abramovich can prove he does not benefit from the said sale.

Would Abramovich be prepared to walk away from Chelsea with nothing to show for his extensive efforts and investments? He has already promised to write off £1.5 billion of loans, but with figures of £3 billion being bounced around by potential suitors for the club, the cost to Abramovich could be immense. Chelsea’s valuation is roughly a third of the Russian’s net worth. Sure, he would still be extremely wealthy even with a £4.5 billion hole in his finances, but people like Abramovich are driven by being the richest in the world, and it is an incredible sum of money to walk away from. However, although extreme, the alternative could be standing on the touchline and watching his beloved Chelsea disappear into the ether. Which will he choose?

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