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Chelsea FC reportedly up for sale as pressure mounts on owner over ties to Vladimir Putin

chelsea fc, Roman Abramovich
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Russian oligarch, and Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich is reportedly starting to take offers for the popular London Premier League club.

The war in Ukraine has had ramifications throughout the world. It has affected financial markets, businesses, people, and even sports leagues and franchises. Now, the latest backlash from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could force Abramovich to sell Chelsea Football Club.

The United Kingdom is looking to come down hard on Russia and its wealthiest citizens with economic sanctions. In an attempt to aid Ukraine in a war against their neighbor without putting English boots on the ground in the country.

Chelsea FC owner feeling government pressure to sell club

Over the weekend, a member of Parliament called for Abramovich to face sanctions and sell the team in an attempt to financially squeeze one of the world’s wealthiest men and a long-rumored ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The driving force behind the Ukraine invasion.

“Roman Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea Football Club and various other high-value assets in the United Kingdom,” opposition party leader, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said at a Wednesday session of Parliament.

“He is a person of interest to the Home Office because of his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices. Last week [U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson] said Abramovich was facing sanctions. He later corrected the record to say he isn’t. Well, why on Earth isn’t he?”

Roman Abramovich is seeking out offers to purchase Chelsea FC

The mounting pressure from the British government has now led Abramovich to start taking serious offers from interested buyers, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

As many nations around the world are doing to combat Russia’s aggressions, the funds of their citizens are being frozen in international banks. That could have a major effect on the club’s immediate future. If the UK government were to freeze Abramovich’s funds, Chelsea as a team would then be frozen, because it’s one of his assets. In such a scenario, he couldn’t sell the club or inject new money into the team.

  • Chelsea FC championships won: 5 Premier League & 2 UEFA Champions League titles

On Tuesday, Swiss business tycoon Hansjoerg Wyss claimed in an interview with regional newspaper Blick that the Chelsea FC owner recently reached out to him to inform him of the Chelsea sale.

“Abramovich is currently trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly now. I, along with three other people, received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich,” Wyss said.

In the ESPN report, sources told the outlet that Abramovich has valued the club at three billion euros.

Abramovich purchased the team in 2003 for 140 million euros. Under his ownership, the team has won five Premier League championships and two UEFA Champions League titles — including in 2021.