Chelsea may go out of business if Roman Abramovich is sanctioned

    A major financier has warned that if the government decides to levy fines against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the club might go out of business.

    Ministers and top parliamentary officials are putting growing pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seize or freeze Abramovich’s UK assets in reaction to Russia’s murderous invasion of Ukraine.

    About the Chelsea Situation

    Abramovich was labeled a person of interest in 2019 due to his “public affiliation with corrupt behavior and practices” in Russia, and it was revealed earlier this week that sanctions would be imposed against Vladimir Putin’s “close circle.”

    Despite the news, earlier this week that Russian banks and firms will have their assets frozen, Abramovich, who has had strong ties with Putin in the past, is yet to be sanctioned.

    Kieran Maguire, a sports finance expert at Liverpool University, has now warned that Abramovich, who has been owed a £1.5 billion loan by Chelsea, might utilize the club’s intricate ownership structure to fend off any possibility of government sanctions, putting the Blues’ long-term existence in peril.

    Word from Maguire

    “If he feels he is being made a scapegoat for the activities of Putin then the worst-case scenario is he tries to call in the loan,” Maguire said via The Times. “Then we’ve got a crisis. He and Putin could argue that it is the British government that has destroyed Chelsea Football Club.”

    Maguire added there may be “a lot of misrepresentation and accusations made from all parties if the British government does go down this route. But I suspect this government will not want to upset football fans as we have a populist government, I suspect Chelsea’s legal team would be going through all the options,”

    His view is supported by Dr. Rob Wilson, a finance lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, who added of the situation: “If the government does seize the assets, in which case they seize Chelsea, that is probably for him a bit of a final straw.

    “He would likely try to walk away from the club…which would create a problem for Chelsea because it would have to be sold or go out of business. Who would buy Chelsea with a £2 billion loan?”

    Prospective buyers are said to be monitoring proceedings at Chelsea, while head coach Thomas Tuchel has already admitted that the club – who are owned by Fordstam, a private company Abramovich set up when he took charge – face ‘many uncertainties’ should action be taken.

    Read: Neil Warnock admits he turned down the chance to sign Didier Drogba for £100,000 from Chelsea

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