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Chelsea

Abramovich disqualified by Premier League but Chelsea still able to play matches

15:31 EAT 12/03/2022
Roman Abramovich Chelsea
English football's top-flight league has followed the UK government's lead, with the Russian now unable to operate as a director of the Blues

Roman Abramovich has been disqualified as a director of Chelsea by the Premier League.

The decision comes in the wake of the UK government's decision to sanction the Russian oligarch and freeze his assets.

A statement from the English top-flight confirmed the decision on Saturday, but the club will still be allowed to play matches despite the announcement.

What has been said?

"Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK Government, the Premier League Board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as a Director of Chelsea Football Club.

"The Board’s decision does not impact on the club’s ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a licence issued by the Government which expires on 31 May 2022."

What does this actually mean for Chelsea?

GOAL's Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella says: "The announcement from the Premier League doesn't change a lot except to say that Abramovich isn't welcome in English football.

"It comes after the UK government's statement that Abramovich was being sanctioned amid a 'pro-Kremlin' stance and that he had 'a close relationship with warlord Vladimir Putin for decades'. He was also accused of 'destabilising Ukraine'.

"Abramovich has now been essentially removed from his role as a director, which had been in place since his 2003 takeover of the Blues. Such a move would have normally forced the Russian into a sale, although it is immaterial in that sense as the process of selling Chelsea is already underway.

"As for how this affects Chelsea on the pitch, it will be 'business as usual', as Thomas Tuchel put it after the win over Norwich, with the west Londoners still able to fulfil their match duties in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League."

What is happening with the sale of Chelsea?

Abramovich announced on February 26 that he was passing on the stewardship of Chelsea to trustees in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The 55-year-old put the club up for sale and it was reported that he was looking for bids of around £3 billion ($3.9bn). His assets were frozen on March 10, however, as the UK Government took action against figures associated with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Despite the moves to block Abramovich's involvement in English football going forward, Chelsea are still able to complete a sale of the club, with New York investment bank Raine Group running the process and the deadline for bids having been extended to March 18.

Swiss-American pair Hansjorg Wyss and Todd Boehly, Turkish billionaire Muhsin Bayrak and British duo Jamie Reuben and Nick Candy are among the candidates to express an interest in taking ownership of the club since Abramovich confirmed he wants to sell.

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