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Billionaire Candy still interested in buying Chelsea as government minister says bidders can apply for new licence

13:41 GMT+3 11/03/2022
Nick Candy Holly Valance
Roman Abramovich has seen his assets frozen by the UK government, but there may still be a way for a takeover at Stamford Bridge to go through

Uncertainty reigns at Chelsea following the news that club owner Roman Abramovich has seen his assets frozen by the UK government, with the Russian businessman in the process of trying to sell the club, but there is hope that a takeover could be completed as billionaire Nick Candy remains an interested party.

As things stand, with those boasting ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin facing sanctions outside of their homeland, Abramovich, who has been at the Stamford Bridge helm since 2003, is being prevented from making any kind of profit from his interests in Britain.

That has put talk of a sale on hold at Chelsea, while ticket and merchandise sales are shut down, but interested parties are continuing to explore all of their options when it comes to the Premier League heavyweights, with property developer Candy – who is a Blues fan – confirming that he remains in the race for control of west London giants alongside a number of American investors.

What has been said?

A spokesperson for Candy, who is planning to attend Chelsea’s home date with Newcastle on Sunday, said: “We are examining the details of yesterday's announcement and we are still interested in making a bid.

“Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans. In our view, no one is the owner of a football club – you are the custodian of it for the fans and the community.”

Candy, who has vowed to put supporters at the centre of the club should he wrestle control from Abramovich, is in talks with several parties over a joint venture.

Could a takeover be completed?

While Abramovich is not allowed to benefit from any deals involving Chelsea, Digital and Technology Minister Chris Philp has revealed that potential buyers – with an offer from Todd Boehly and Hansjorg Wyss on the table and interest from Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and New York Jets supremo Woody Johnson being shown – could ask for government assistance in discussions regarding licensing agreements.

Philp told Sky News: “As the license conditions are written today, the sale would not be allowed.

“If a buyer emerged then it would be open to that buyer or to the football club to approach the government and ask for the licence conditions to be varied in a way that allowed that sale to take place, and they would be able to approach the government to make a proposal.

“To be clear no proposal would be accepted which saw the money and the proceeds from any sale ending in an unrestricted bank account owned by Abramovich. He can’t benefit from the proceeds of any sale.”

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