Thursday saw more misery being piled onto Roman Abramovich as the UK government announced a horde of sanctions on the Russian oligarch as part of their larger curb against wealthy aids close to Putin.
These sanctions have the immediate impact of halting Abramovich’s proposed sale of Chelsea. The sale will still be possible under the UK government’s terms following which the Russian oligarch could very well not receive any sum in return. However, in the long run, the problems posed by the restrictions seem grave as it directly impacts the club’s day to day functioning.
As per the UK government’s announcement, Chelsea have been given a new license to ensure the continuation of operations and allow for general functioning. However, it comes with severe retrains as the club would now be unable to issue new contracts for its players, enter into transfer deals for new players or obtain sums from sales, sell tickets for upcoming games with only season ticket holders being allowed to attend and finally sell any merchandise of the club.
All in all, the club is facing uncertain times ahead right during the business end of the season. Football fans have had diverse reactions to Chelsea’s predicament with some empathising with the Blues and asking relevant questions while others sticking to the idea that there is always room for banter at any point in time.
The direct influence of these restrictions will be on the people at the club whether it be players, coaches, administrative or logistical staff and this fan has chosen to highlight the very same aspect.
Repercussions beyond the club
No matter how much i dislike a club, if you think what’s happening to us Chelsea fans is even remotely funny then I’m left questioning alot of things. It goes deeper than “rivalry” its peoples mental health, hobbies& what keeps people smiling throughout tough times etc etc.— K.Springss (@Springss_CFC) March 10, 2022
Abramovich needs to walk away
Abramovich should follow up with the government’s conditions for sale as he mentioned in a statement that he values the club’s best interests more than anything else.
If Abramovich is serious about acting in the best interests of Chelsea, the only choice is to walk away ASAP & hand control over any sale to the UK Government. Launching a lengthy legal challenge would only serve his personal interests to the detriment of the club #CFC— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) March 10, 2022
Deserved treatment for enabling state-ownership
The current treatment to Abramovich and Chelsea is fair as they were the pioneers of bringing in state ownership into English football which later on opened the doors to clubs like Manchester City to be backed by the Abu Dhabi-based state fund.
If you really are celebrating the demise of #ChelseaFC then you really are a true football fan.— Joe Gordon (@JoeGordon82) March 10, 2022
Roman Abramovic is getting exactly what he deserves.— WHF!🇾🇪 (@UtdWesleyy) March 10, 2022
Pot calling kettle
There have also been attacks on the UK government for their hypocritic behaviour, being a nation that has inflicted so much violence on the majority of regions across the globe but choosing to punish Abramovich for being close to Putin.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government for being a Russian & a friend to putin. But the same UK govt has invaded more than 150 countries & killed millions of people in Africa & still killing without facing any consequences.— IFÁ FUNSHO (@funshographix) March 10, 2022
Newcastle ownership in the spotlight, again
More on the hypocrisy, when the quick response to the Russian invasion is compared to the total disregard for other owners especially those from the Middle East such as Newcastle’s Saudi crown prince. The latter’s state is known to have funded war crimes in the recent past but irrespective of that history, the purchase of Newcastle was allowed.
So Abramovich is not allowed to own Chelsea, but a Saudi crown prince is allowed to own Newcastle Utd? How does that work?— Ricky Hale (@RickyDHale) March 10, 2022
Call for fan ownership
The entire model of ownership and structure followed by English football could (as with Chelsea) very easily collapse like a house of cards owing to “geopolitical shift, market downturn or disinterested benefactor.” This should be replaced by fan ownership of the club as is the case in the Bundesliga.
While everyone is gloating over Chelsea it’s worth remembering that, under the prevailing ownership model in English football, almost every club is one geopolitical shift, market downturn or disinterested benefactor away from disaster. Fans need a meaningful stake in their clubs.— Will Magee (@W_F_Magee) March 10, 2022
A Spurs joke is never too far away
When the bantering began, it led to the usual shouts of Chelsea being “finished” or “in the mud” but there have been a few counterpunches as well. Even during this crisis, London rivals Tottenham were not spared from attacks.
Why is there no sanctions against Tottenham………Chelsea have owned them for 30 years.😂😂— G (@AbberleyGraham) March 10, 2022
As Chelsea face up to a trophyless future with no money to spend on transfers, football fans begin to wonder how long government sanctions have been in place at Tottenham.— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) March 10, 2022
Perhaps these exchanges would do well to lighten the atmosphere around Chelsea supporters but there is no denying that they are facing a challenging period ahead of them.