Chelsea future in question after club hit with ban on ticket and merchandise sales over Abramovich sanctions

Chelsea future in question after club hit with ban on ticket and merchandise sales over Abramovich sanctions
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government.
2 min read
10 March, 2022
Abramovich has been hit with sanctions [Getty]

Chelsea fans are questioning the future of their club after the UK government issued sanctions on its owner Roman Abramovic.

The sanctions mean Chelsea will be banned from selling tickets or merchandise, meaning the club, which is currently challenging for a Champions League place, are likely to take a big financial hit.

UK Minister of Sports Nadine Dorries said that Chelsea have been given a special license to continue playing football and that "ticket holders" would be able to attend matches.

This suggests that only season ticket holders and those who have already bought tickets for upcoming Premier League games will be able to attend.

"I know this brings some uncertainty, but the government will work with the league and clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended," she said on Twitter.

"Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We're committed to protecting them."

The ban will also affect merchandise sales, ensuring that Abramovic will not be able to generate any profits from the club.

Abramovich had been looking to sell the club for around £3 billion and this could now be affected by the sanctions

"Massive news: Roman Abramovich sanctioned. All UK assets frozen. Chelsea can still operate under a special license but sale not on hold. Club will not be allowed to sell any more tickets - only season ticket holders can go to games for the forseeable future," explained journalist Martyn Ziegler in a tweet.

"Also: no merchandise sales allowed; no player transfers or new contracts; catering services will be permitted."

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there have been widespread calls on the UK government to sanction Abramovich, who has close links to Vladimir Putin.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the sanctions were related to the war in Ukraine, where Russian forces have bombed hospitals and bakeries.

"Today's sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society. With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression," she said in a statement. "The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame. "Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine."

The New Arab has approached Chelsea FC for comment