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Chelsea sale in doubt as Roman Abramovich attempts to restructure deal to regain his £1.5billion loan

todayMay 3, 2022

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Kaveh Solhekol explains why a development in the ongoing sale of Chelsea could even threaten the future of the club itself.

 

The sale of Chelsea has been thrown into doubt over disagreements about what will happen to the £2.5billion the club is expected to be sold for.

 

The consortium led by US businessman Todd Boehly is the preferred bidder to buy Chelsea, but the UK government will not allow the sale to go through unless it is completely certain Roman Abramovich will not receive any of the proceeds.

Two months ago Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale and said he would not be asking for his loans to the club to be repaid and all the proceeds would go to a charitable foundation for “all the victims of the war in Ukraine”.

 

Abramovich was sanctioned by the government on March 10, preventing him from doing any business in the UK.

But the sale of Chelsea is being conducted by the Raine Group, an investment bank appointed by Abramovich, and he will have the final say on who buys the club.

 

The government is aware of attempts to restructure any potential deal in a way which could see Abramovich receive the £1.5billion he has loaned the club through its parent company Fordstam Limited.

The government has to issue a special licence for Chelsea to be sold and it would not do so if any of the proceeds were going to Abramovich or towards paying back the loans he is owed by the club.

 

Chelsea have won every possible trophy under Abramovich’s ownership.

 

There are two sides to this. If you see it from Abramovich’s point of view, he is thinking: “They want me to sell Chelsea for £2.5billion and I’m not going to get any of that money. I’m going to lose all that money. I’m going to lose the club as well and I’m going to lose the £1.5billion I’ve lent the club”. From the other point of view, the UK government are saying: “Look at what is happening in Ukraine, look at what Russia is doing in Ukraine. Abramovich is somebody who is linked to the Russian government. He’s linked to Vladimir Putin. That is why he’s sanctioned. We cannot have him doing any business in the UK. We cannot have him making 1p in the UK”.

And in the middle of all this is a stuck Chelsea Football Club.

What happens to Chelsea if Abramovich refuses to sell? And of course he could do that. He’s got other business interests. He’s got a house in Kensington that’s worth £150m. He’s not selling that at the moment and giving the proceeds away to charity. He’s sitting tight.

But the only problem is, if he sits tight and refuses to sell Chelsea then Chelsea will go out of business. Chelsea will not exist anymore and, of course, he’s always maintained Chelsea are very, very close to his heart and he does not want that to happen. But if that was to happen, who would Chelsea supporters blame? Would they blame Abramovich or would they blame the UK government?

So the clock is ticking not just for Abramovich, but also for the UK government because they can’t have a situation on their hands when at the end of this month Chelsea’s licence to operate expires and potentially one of the biggest clubs in the world could go out of business.

 

Read From Ravradio: Bournemouth back to Premier League

 

Written by: ravradio

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