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Roman Abramovich: What next for Chelsea after Russian confirms intention to sell?

| 07.03.2022

The Blues are on the hunt for a new owner

Roman Abramovich has confirmed he will sell Chelsea after almost 20 years as owner of the Stamford Bridge club.

Here, we look at the big questions on another major development for the Champions League and Club World Cup champions, who have won 18 trophies during Abramovich’s time in charge.

What has Abramovich said?

Chelsea’s Russian-Israeli owner has told of his “incredibly difficult decision” to put the west London club up for sale. Abramovich branded owning Chelsea the biggest privilege of his life.

Why is Abramovich selling now?

The 55-year-old is increasingly likely to be subjected to UK Government sanctions over his proximity to Russia’s political leadership amid the invasion of Ukraine. Should his UK assets be frozen then Abramovich would be left unable to complete a sale of the Premier League club.

Roman Abramovich, Chelsea

What happens next?

Teams of legal experts and banking specialists will help sift through a number of bids to help broker a deal that could fall anywhere between £2billion and £4billion.

So who will buy the club?

There will be no shortage of suitors for one of the world’s most high-profile football clubs. Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has already gone public with his desire to submit a bid. United States billionaire Todd Boehly is understood to have partnered up with Wyss, and their consortium is likely to have other members too.

Will Abramovich be under pressure to sell quickly?

The Blues chief will certainly want to act swiftly, but has insisted any sale will follow due process and all standard procedures. And that most likely puts paid to suggestions from Wyss that a sale could be fast-tracked through in mere weeks.

What happens if Abramovich is sanctioned before the club is sold?

The Government has the power to issue a licence for a business to continue when the owner falls under sanctions.

It is understood the conditions to be met for such a licence to be issued remain strict, but Chelsea’s charitable foundation, number of employees and positive impact on the local community would all count in their favour.

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Adam Morgan