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UK sanctions Chelsea owner
The UK has decided to add Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich to its list of sanctioned Russian oligarchs, all with the motive of isolating Russian President Vlamidir Putin.
Abramovich is one of seven sanctioned Russian oligarchs, including billionaires Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska who are considered allies of Putin. It should be noted that these sanctions include the freezing of assets and travel restrictions.
The Russian oligarch has denied ties to President Putin, however a leaked 2019 UK government document claims Abramovich had “ties to the Russian state and its public association with corrupt activities and practices”.
Abramovich's fortune is estimated at 9.4 billion pounds ($12.36 billion), according to the UK government.
This Thursday the United Kingdom's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in a statement, said that the new sanctions contemplate freezing assets and prohibiting transactions with people and companies in the United Kingdom, as well as a travel restriction.
For her part, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that the UK is absolutely determined to sanction the Russian oligarchs. "There is no place where Putin's henchmen can hide," he added.
Similarly, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that there will be no "safe harbor" for those who support the invasion of Ukraine, adding that:
“Today's action is the latest step in the UK's strong support for the Ukrainian people. We will be relentless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, the destruction of hospitals, and the illegal occupation of sovereign allies."
Chelsea F.C. situation
Due to these new sanctions, the sale of the club is suspended, since it is part of the assets frozen to Abramovich, although prior to this, this month the Russian owner had announced his decision to sell Chelsea, after informing that he had handed over the administration thereof to the trustees of the club's charitable foundation.
"In the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the sponsors and partners of the Club," added the Russian oligarch as to his reasons for the sale of the London club.
However, the UK government announced that a special license will be issued so that the football club can continue its sporting activities, although with certain restrictions. Said license contemplates for Chelsea:
Fans who purchased season or individual game tickets before March 10 will be able to attend the games.
Channels that have broadcast rights will be able to broadcast any match involving the club.
Pay the salaries of all its employees (including coaching staff and players).
Pay reasonable travel costs to and from matches not to exceed £20,000 (US$26,330) per game.
Pay reasonable costs at home not to exceed £500,000 (US$658,000) per game.
In addition to all this, the club's merchandise store will be closed. No more tickets will be sold after March 10, although those attending games at Stamford Bridge will be able to purchase food and drink. Additionally, outside retailers who purchased or produced club merchandise before Thursday will be able to sell them.
It should be noted that all of the above can be done as long as no money is delivered to the club.