UK added Russian oligarch and owner of Chelsea FC Roman Abramovich to the list of individuals subject to sanctions as part of its effort to “imply” Russian President Vladimir Putin – which has called the sale of the London club into question.
And the UK government said in a statement on Thursday that it was Adding seven more oligarchs and politicians – Including Abramovich – to the list of sanctioned individuals.
Abramovich announced this month that he plans to sell Chelsea, as it is “in the interest of the club, the fans and staff as well as the club’s sponsors and partners”. This came after he announced that he had given “oversight” of the club to the trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth Office and Development Office said in a statement on Thursday that the new sanctions would lead to a freeze on his assets and would ban “transactions with UK individuals and businesses”. The billionaire will also face a travel ban preventing him from entering the UK.
According to the UK governmentChelsea will be given a special license to continue to “complete its fixtures and carry out football business” – including paying players and club staff – but some actions, such as buying and selling new players and selling tickets for games other than those already sold to fans, will not be permitted. Existing season ticket holders will be allowed to attend matches as well as fans who purchased tickets before Thursday.
Fans can buy food and drink in these matches, according to the statement, and under the sanctions, third-party retailers who have purchased or produced club merchandise before Thursday will be allowed to sell their existing stock as long as no money is given to Chelsea.
British MP Chris Bryant had previously called for Abramovich to lose ownership of Chelsea after seeing a leaked 2019 British government document that said Abramovich was a subject of interest due to his “connections to the Russian state and general association with corrupt activism and practices,” the MP said in a tweet on Twitter.
Abramovich is valued at 9.4 billion pounds ($12.36 billion), according to the UK government.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said this month that the UK was “absolutely intent” on punishing Russia’s oligarchs, adding that the UK was working through an “other list” of oligarchs to punish them.
“There is nowhere for any of Putin’s friends to hide,” Truss continued.
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