Chelsea fans have been warned to refrain from chanting in favour of club owner Roman Abramovich.
During Chelsea’s win over Norwich on Thursday, fans sang Abramovich’s name.
The UK government has sanctioned Abramovich as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Fans should remember that Abramovich has significant relations to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose dictatorship has done “barbaric deeds” in Ukraine, according to Technology Minister Chris Philp.
“I understand why Chelsea fans like him, but when the dictatorship he is linked with is committing atrocities, football isn’t as important,
“So I’d advise them to think twice before doing that again, since the cruel crimes of the Putin dictatorship, which Abramovich has backed, are far more significant than football.”
The sanctions, which were issued on Thursday, prevent Abramovich from selling Chelsea, while a special license provided by the government allows the club to continue operating.
According to Philp, the terms of that license might be changed to allow a transaction to take place.
“However, if a buyer emerges, that bidder or that football club could contact the government and request that the requirements be changed in such a way that the sale can take place.”
“We’re in close contact with the club and the Premier League over any issues that have been raised through the sanctions and the license that the Treasury has provided them,” a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister later added.
The club must now apply for any changes to the license.
Chelsea, I believe, has stated that they will do so, and we will, of course, work with the club and the league to assess any operational modifications that may be required.”
On Thursday, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston met with the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) and three Chelsea fan organizations to discuss the sanctions’ impact and the process for the club to apply for an amended license.
An FSA statement stated, “This application could include proposed adjustments on ticket sales.”
“The minister stated that the government will collaborate with clubs and leagues to explore these adjustments.
Chelsea FC must clarify where any revenue produced as a result of this application will be directed.”
Raine Group, the American investment firm in charge of the sale, has temporarily halted the process in order to obtain clarification on how a potential sale may proceed.
The speed with which the club can be sold if a buyer is found is contingent on the government receiving assurances that the proceeds will not go to Abramovich, which might take awhile.
Those working on Abramovich’s behalf were promised that the sale’s revenues would go to a fund for victims of Ukraine’s war.
The £1.5 billion loan from a Russian businessman is not expected to be removed from the purchase.
Abramovich wanted £3 billion for the club at the start of the process, but industry analysts already thought that was an exaggerated price before penalties were applied.
Nick Candy, a British property investor, is one of the few people still interested in purchasing Chelsea.
Following Thursday’s revelation, no possible investors have dropped out, with up to 20 serious parties remaining interested.
“We are analyzing the contents of yesterday’s news and we are still interested in making a bid,” a Nick Candy spokeswoman stated.
For all Chelsea supporters, this is clearly a period of considerable uncertainty.
No one owns a football club, in our opinion; you are the curator of it for the fans and the community.”