LONDON: Unpreceded restrictions were placed on Chelsea's ability to operate by the British government on Thursday after owner Roman Abramovich was targeted in sanctions. Abramovich was among seven wealthy Russians who had their assets frozen by the government.
It freezes his ability to sell Chelsea which was announced last week after Russia invaded Ukraine. The government has issued what it calls a "special license" to ensure Chelsea can continue to play games and staff can be paid.
2/4 Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account. Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chlesea & its fans. We have been working hard to ensure the club & the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.— Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) March 10, 2022
But the club won't be able to sell new tickets to any fans or sell merchandise. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted that it is about "depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club".
"I know this brings some uncertainty, but the Government will work with the league & clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We're committed to protecting them," she said.