Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich disqualified by Premier League after UK government sanctions

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The Premier League have disqualified Roman Abramovich as manager at Chelsea, the league announced on Saturday.

Chelsea’s assets have been frozen after the UK government imposed sanctions on owner Abramovich. The world and European champions were frozen as Abramovich’s asset, who was one of seven Russian oligarchs targeted amid the war in Ukraine, along with Igor Sechin, Oleg Deripaska, Dmitry Lebedev, Alexei Miller , Andrei Kostin and Nikolai Tokarev.

The Blues have been given a license to continue filling matches and paying staff, but rely on cash reserves to operate, with various sources of revenue cut off as part of government action against Abramovich due to his links suspected with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A statement from the Premier League read: “Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK government, the Premier League board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as manager of Chelsea Football Club. The board’s decision to administration does not affect the club’s ability to train and play matches under the terms of a government issued license which expires on 31 May 2022.”

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Sources have told ESPN that the spending limits – which include a cap of around £20,000 ($26,000) on outbound travel and a (revised) limit of £900,000 ($1.17m) dollars) on the cost of hosting home games – led Barclays to suspend the club’s credit cards over fears of breaking government rules.

Abramovich’s disqualification as manager will not impact the potential sale of the club. He can apply for a separate license to continue the process – which he is supposed to do – but the government will have a level of involvement defined by the terms of that license when it is agreed.

Final approval of the deal will be required by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, as Abramovich cannot receive any profit from the sale.

Abramovich is now almost certain not to find a buyer willing to pay his £3bn ($3.9bn) asking price, given the current situation, but a quick sale at a discount looks increasingly the more the most viable option for all parties. He received several offers after putting the club up for sale, but none has yet matched his valuation, sources have told ESPN.

Sources added that a consortium including Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers co-owner Todd Boehly alongside Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has filed a bid in a bid to advance the race.

Potential interested parties have until Tuesday to submit offers to the New York investment bank Raine Group, designated to manage the sale of the club.

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