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Roman Abramovich has been disqualified as a director of Chelsea following the government’s decision to sanction him.
A Premier League statement read: ‘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 31 May 2022.’
Abramovich put the club up for sale after Russia’s invasion and has since been sanctioned by the government.
They have begun negotiations with the oligarch’s advisers over the terms of the sale, which Downing Street is eager to push through as quickly as possible.
Numerous bidders are willing to pay over £2billion and Abramovich has struck a deal with the Government that will allow the sale to go through.
Originally, Abramovich handed over control of the club to the charity and trustees before annoucing his intention to sell but he has now been backed into a corner.
Roman Abramovich has been disqualified by the Premier League board as Chelsea director
According to the Telegraph, Abramovich has agreed to writing off loans of over £1.5billion without receiving any of the proceeds.
It is understood Abramovich has instructed The Raine Group – the American bank that paused the sale after the Russian was sanctioned on Thursday due to his reported links to Vladimir Putin – to continue the process of completing a takeover.
The same outlet also claims a deadline of the end of next week – pushed back from Tuesday – has been set for prospective new buyers’ first bids to be submitted, with Abramovich now hoping for a rapid sale and Raine hoping it attracts more bidders.
Chelsea can continue playing games and pay their players and staff but cannot transfer players in or out as the government tries to prevent Abramovich from benefiting in any way.
Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for a reported £140million and his investment resulted in the most successful era in their history as they won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.
Chelsea fans have been urged by the Government to not chant Abramovich’s name
Abramovich was sanctioned on Thursday due to his tie’s to Russian president Vladimir Putin
The entry on the British sanctions list described Abramovich as “a prominent Russian businessman and pro-Kremlin oligarch” who had enjoyed “a close relationship for decades” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich has denied having such ties. Supporters of the club have been widely condemned for chanting the oligarch’s name during their win over Norwich in midweek.
‘I understand why Chelsea fans have some affection for him,’ said technology minister Chris Philp.
‘But the regime he is associated with is committing atrocities more important than football.
‘So I would ask them to think very carefully before doing that again. The barbaric acts of the Putin regime which Abramovich has supported is far more important than football.’
British billionaire Nick Candy has confirmed in recent days he is still pursuing a bid for the club.
The club have been banned from selling tickets or merchandise for the foreseeable future
British tycoon Nick Candy has confirmed that he is still interested in taking over Chelsea
The 49-year-old property developer is a Chelsea fan, who is planning to attend Sunday’s Premier League home match against Newcastle and has pledged to put supporters at the centre of his plans for the club that will be jointly-funded with American investors.
‘We are examining the details of the announcement and we are still interested in making a bid,’ a spokesperson for Candy told Sportsmail.
‘Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans. In our view no one is the owner of a football club – you are the custodian of it for the fans and the community.’
Candy is convinced that Chelsea can be run profitably despite the club posting losses of £145m last year, through growing the club’s brand globally and embracing innovative new markets, as well as extracting more revenue from a multi-purpose redeveloped Stamford Bridge.