Premier League Football club Chelsea and its owner Roman Abramovich now have huge implications looming over them as the owner has had his assets frozen. The Chelsea teams have been granted a special general licence to compete for the rest of the season under unprecedented conditions.
Tickets for their upcoming match will be valid, but then no more will be sold to the general public. Only seasoned ticket holders will be allowed to attend future matches.
Abramovich was planning to sell the football club but that is on hold until at least 31st of May when the licence expires. All proceeds were to be donated to the victims of Ukraine.
Chelsea is still to receive the broadcast fees but they are to remain frozen as not to benefit Abramovich at all. Existing merchandise can still be sold but none of the profit is to benefit the club and no stock can be refilled.
There is also doubt now with commercial sponsorships. They have a £60m yearly kit contract with Nike that expires in 2032. Nike may wait until the situation unfolds with the sale before making any decisions. They also have a £40m t-shirt sponsorship with telecom 3. No word on this.
Their other contracts with Hyundai and Hublot, worth over £20m expire at the end of the season.
The licence also restricts the costs of hosting matches. This will affect their ability to play away games in the European league, such as the Champion’s League.
Only existing maintenance can be done on their stadium and training centre, no upgrading.
They also cannot trade players, meaning that Chelsea could be stuck with these players for the unforeseeable future.
Abramovich has moved two of his superyachts out of England’s waters, fearing they would have been impounded. The sale of two of his homes looks like they may not proceed either.
Abramovich also has shares in a steel manufacturer, Evraz. He can not sell them either.
The British government, while placing these sanctions have stated “Evraz is or has been involved in providing financial services, or making available funds, economic resources, goods or technology that could contribute to destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine – which includes potentially supplying steel to the Russian military which may have been used in the production of tanks.”