Who runs Chelsea now? The fallout from Abramovich sanctions


Chelsea face a precarious future after the UK government moved to sanction owner Roman Abramovich.

The decision comes at a time when a number of bidders had expressed an interest in buying the club from the Russian billionaire.

That cannot happen – in the short term, at least.

And Abramovich was disqualified as a director of Chelsea by the Premier League board at the weekend.

No new revenue can be generated whilst the club is effectively under UK Government control.

Asset Freeze

Chelsea cannot sell any tickets or merchandise for upcoming games, though season ticket holders will still be allowed to attend matches.

No new contracts or transfers for new players may be completed.

The club have negotiated a new licence to continue operations and are now allowed to spend up to £900,000 on matchday costs - up from £500,000 initially - following crisis talks between club officials and the Government.

Shirt sponsors Three confirmed they had frozen their £120 million agreement whilst other sponsors such as Nike, Hyundai and Zapp are reviewing the situation.

Administration risk

Chelsea could face a nine-point penalty if the club end up in administration due to lack of income, with Director of Football Petr Cech uncertain the club can even complete the season.

The Blues are looking at the prospect of losing star players such as club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger for nothing come the end of the season. They are three of ten players who will be out of contract in July.

“Chelsea will be able to pay wages due at the end of March,” financial journalist Kieran Maguire told the BBC.

"Chelsea's wage bill is round about £28m a month.

Concern

“We don't know how much cash they have in the bank. The most recent accounts we have are from June 2021 when there was £16m in the bank.

“Abramovich has been injecting money into Chelsea on a regular basis over recent years and presumably that won't be able to continue. The concern might be what happens if Chelsea's cash reserves are insufficient to pay their wage bill."

Fans have reacted with dismay to the implications for the club.

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