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UK government 'open to sale' as Chelsea release statement following Abramovich sanctions

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK government are open to allowing Chelsea to sell the club, but made it clear that they would need a new licence to do so.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich was hit with sanctions on Thursday that immediately prevent the Russian businessman from making any money from the club.

Abramovich was originally trying to sell the club before his assets were frozen, but has been told he will not be allowed to collect profits of any kind due to his affiliation with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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What has been said?

The PM's spokesman said:“It’s fair to say the Government is open to a sale of the club, but it would require another licence.

“We are now talking to Chelsea Football Club. Those conversations will continue. The important thing is under no circumstances of any sale would allow Roman Abramovich to profit from that or take any money from that sale.

“The principle has been to try to mitigate the impact on fans … these measures are designed to punish those close to Putin and make sure any money generated can’t make its way through to the Russian war machine.”

Chelsea respond to sanctions

Chelsea also released a statement on Thursday regarding the sanctions, which reads: “Chelsea Football Club has been advised that its owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government.

“By virtue of his 100 per cent ownership of Chelsea FC plc and affiliated entities, Chelsea FC would normally be subject to the same sanctions regime as Mr Abramovich. However, the UK Government has issued a general licence that permits Chelsea FC to continue certain activities.

“We will fulfil our men’s and women’s team fixtures today against Norwich and West Ham, respectively, and intend to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence.

“This will include seeking permission for the licence to be amended in order to allow the Club to operate as normal as possible. We will also be seeking guidance from the UK Government on the impact of these measures on the Chelsea Foundation and its important work in our communities.

“The Club will update further when it is appropriate to do so.”

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