Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich has become the latest Russian oligarch to be sanctioned as part of the British government’s response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Deadline reports.
The list of sanctions sees assets seized includes the powerhouse soccer club, which Abramovich had been trying to unload since the beginning of the conflict.
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The billionaire had agreed to forgive a £1.5 billion ($1.98 billion) loan to the club and said proceeds of the sale would be donated to war victims. There were several interested parties but the sale will now be put on hold.
The UK government today said it would grant the soccer club a special license to fulfill fixtures, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to go to matches. However, going forward the club will not be allowed to sell tickets for now (season ticket holders will still be able to attend games).
Abramovich has an estimated net worth of £9.4 billion ($12.4 billion). He is alleged to have strong ties to the Putin regime, which he disputes. Last week, a spokesperson for the billionaire said he had flown to Belarus to seek a “peaceful resolution” between Russia and Ukraine.