Abramovich disqualified as Chelsea director

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Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich has owned Premier League club Chelsea since 2003

The Premier League has disqualified Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich as a director of the club after the oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government.

Abramovich had his British assets – including Chelsea – frozen on Thursday as part of the government’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The move put the Russian’s prospective sale of the club on hold.

The Premier League said Abramovich’s disqualification would “not impact on the club’s ability to train and play”.

Removing an owner from a board would usually trigger the sale of the shares, a process that Abramovich had instigated on 2 March after after the threat of sanctions was raised in Parliament.

He had instructed American investment firm Raine Group to seek £3bn for the club, but finance experts believe that price could drop given the current uncertainty around Chelsea.

Raine Group temporarily halted the sale process on Thursday while answers were sought from the government about the implications of the sanctions.

The government is open to considering an addition to the special licence it granted the club that would allow a sale to go ahead.

A condition for that to happen, however, would be that Abramovich – one of Russia’s richest people and believed to be close to the country’s president, Vladimir Putin – receives none of the proceeds.

More to follow.

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