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12 Mar, 2022 13:29

Roman Abramovich ‘disqualified as Chelsea director’ by Premier League

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has been disqualified from being a director of Chelsea, according to the Premier League
Roman Abramovich ‘disqualified as Chelsea director’ by Premier League

Roman Abramovich has been disqualified from his role as director of Chelsea in the latest step taken against the businessman after he was sanctioned by the UK government on Thursday.

Abramovich became the latest Russian national to be sanctioned following the start of the conflict in Ukraine, a move which put his prospective sale of the club on hold and hit the Champions League holders with financial restrictions which will severely limit their ability to operate.

The decision will be reviewed in May. Among the restrictions, Chelsea will not be allowed to make signings, agree new contracts with players and sell matchday tickets and merchandise.

In a statement announcing further steps being taken against Abramovich, the Premier League said on Saturday: “Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK Government, the Premier League board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as a director of Chelsea Football Club.

“The board's decision does not impact on the club's ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a licence issued by the Government which expires on May 31 2022.”

The terms of the licence, meanwhile, under which Chelsea were required to operate have been amended following consultation between the club and Premier League and government figures. 

The budget with which Chelsea are allowed to play matches under the terms of their special licence has been raised from £500,000 to £900,000, and the club have also been informed that any prize money won will be available for use in paying player wages.

The amended license isn't thought to have addressed Chelsea's concerns about the viability of a £20,000 allowance afforded to travel to away matches.

This comes after British bank Barclays froze Chelsea's bank accounts and associated staff credit cards - something which The Athletic reported may make it impossible to pay for fuel for the team bus by traditional means. 

It is also understood that negotiations have taken place between the UK government and the US bank handling Chelsea's sale, the Raine Group, with further progress expected on the club's sale in due course.

No formal bids have yet been made but there are currently several parties considering an official offer for the club. It is thought that a deal could be arranged in the next four to six weeks. 

Abramovich has yet to formally comment on the sanctions imposed by the UK government.