Chelsea Football Club’s bank account has now been suspended by Barclays after the UK Government imposed sanctions on the club’s Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich yesterday. Mr Abramovich, 55, was added to the list of seven oligarchs personally sanctioned by the Government on Thursday due to his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.
The billionaire’s UK assets had already been frozen, meaning Chelsea were no longer able to sign players, offer new contracts, sell tickets, or sell any merchandise from their club shop. The club had been given a special licence allowing it to continue paying club staff and players to continue the season, but caps have been put on spending.
READ MORE: Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK government and banned from selling Chelsea
Telecomms giant Three has also suspended their sponsorship of the football club including the deal that saw their logo feature prominently on the front of players’ shirts, reported The Mirror.
But in this fresh blow to the club on Friday evening, Barclays has temporarily suspended Chelsea’s bank accounts while they inspect the sporting license.
All Chelsea can do is hope this suspension and inspection isn’t in place long while they are also engaged in talks with government officials over the nature of their license to continue football-related activities.
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In a statement responding to Abramovich being sanctioned, the West Londoners said: “Chelsea Football Club has been advised that its owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government. By virtue of his 100 per cent ownership of Chelsea FC plc and affiliated entities, Chelsea FC would normally be subject to the same sanctions regime as Mr Abramovich.
“However, the UK Government has issued a general licence that permits Chelsea FC to continue certain activities. We will fulfil our men’s and women’s team fixtures today against Norwich and West Ham, respectively, and intend to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence.
“This will include seeking permission for the licence to be amended in order to allow the club to operate as normal as possible. We will also be seeking guidance from the UK Government on the impact of these measures on the Chelsea Foundation and its important work in our communities. The club will update further when it is appropriate to do so.”
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