TROUBLE AT THE BRIDGE

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Mr. Roman Abramovich Photo: Sky Sports

The repercussions of Russian unprovoked invasion of Ukraine continue to bite real hard. In a bid to isolate President Putin, and constrain money flow into the coffers of the Russian government, the United Kingdom (UK), yesterday, through Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, decided to sanction seven associates of the president and Stamford Bridge-based Chelsea Football Club owner, Mr. Roman Abramovich made it to the list. The other six oligarchs are Dmitri Lebedev, Nikolai Tokarev, Alexei Miller, Andrey Kostin, Igor Sechin and Oleg Deripaska.

Earlier this month, Abramovich, in what was perceived as fear of sanction, put the club up for sale, a move that has now stalled due to the sanctions, implying Chelsea FC, one of his assets in the UK cannot sell its merchandise sell or buy players in the transfer market or sell any more tickets for its games. Abramovich and the aforementioned oligarchs will not be allowed to enter the UK as well.

To shield Chelsea FC from the effects of the sanctions, the UK government will grant it a special license that allows footballing activities and aid them to continue as usual. In a nutshell, Chelsea will be able to pay the wages of all employees, including players and coaching staff, fans with season tickets or individual match tickets before 10 March 2022 (sanction day) can attend games, broadcasters with the rights to air Chelsea matches will do so and the club can fund expenses of hosting home matches and travel costs to and from matches totaling to but not exceeding £500,000 per match per team and £20,000 per match per team respectively.

It is believed the UK government would consider allowing Mr. Abramovich to apply for a special license that would enable him to sell the club, on the condition that he would not benefit from the sale.

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