Chelsea FC, one of the top clubs in English Football with regards to fanbase and success, has been bruised amidst the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Among several other Russian owners, Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, faces a sanction imposed by the UK government in its stern response to Russian actions.
This penalty mandates that Chelsea will not be able to sell any more tickets, buy or sell players in the transfer market and renew their players’ contracts- among these players include centre back Antonio Rudiger and his defensive partner Andreas Christiansen.
Moreover, the club's merchandise store will be closed and all club credit cards will be frozen. This, shockingly, has prevented the club from purchasing fuel for its team bus, blocking the first team squad from attending the games.
However, the UK government will issue a unique license, permitting fixtures to go ahead as scheduled, ticket holders to attend the games and all coaching staff, doctors, players to receive their wages.
Roman Abramovic, assumed to hold good relations with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, has decided to sell the club, if, and only if, he can manifest that he would not gain anything, or donate any of the earnings to the Russian cause, to the UK government.
Abramovic has exhibited his sincerity in this sale of the club he’s owned for 19 years, by asserting that all earnings would be donated to the victims of Russian invasion.
It’s shot after shot for Chelsea, as their recent kit sponsor Three UK, the fourth largest mobile network in the UK, has suspended its sponsorship of the club. Consequently, the sponsor has instructed for the removal of its logo from not only Chelsea club shirts but also around Stamford bridge, Chelsea FC’s stadium, until further notice.
What does this mean for the club?
Chelsea FC have been assured by the government that the club will avoid ‘unnecessary harm’.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has reaffirmed this by remarking ‘the government will work with the league and clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended. Sanctions have consequences and that’s a fact’.
This displays the government’s strong position on the conflict, while also ensuring those uninvolved are not negatively affected.
Roman Abramovich, among other wealthy Russians, have been sanctioned in an attempt by the government to prevent money laundering or donating earnings to crime or Russian-linked organizations in their war-plots.
Written and collated by Aman Farooq