CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government – blocking the sale of the club for now.
The billionaire Russian oligarch has had all his assets frozen, is banned from coming to Britain and from doing any business here.
Chelsea has been granted a special licence to continue playing and fans with tickets will still be able to attend matches.
But no more tickets or merchandise will be able to be sold by the club.
Under a cloud of Putin cronyism Abramovic put the club on the market last week and vowed to put the proceeds towards the Ukrainian conflict.
But today's fresh round of sanctions will prevent a sale from happening unless the Government grants special dispensation.
As Chelsea is thrown into limbo:
- Chelsea has been slapped with transfer BAN after Roman Abramovich was today sanctioned
- Chelsea's clash with Norwich WILL go ahead
- The team has been banned from selling home and away tickets for matches
- The billionaire Russian oligarch is among seven Putin cronies sanctioned amid the Ukraine crisis
Abramovich is among seven Putin cronies sanctioned today to keep twisting the thumbscrews on Russia for waging a cruel war on Ukraine.
By far the most notorious oligarch, Abramovich has a net worth of £9.4billion and owns a multimillion Kensington mansion.
Despite the sanctions, the Russian billionaire is still sitting on a property portfolio worth millions including a Kensington Palace Garden mansion and penthouse in Chelsea.
Part of Abramovich's wealth also includes a Code d'Azur mansion which was lived in by King Edward, who abdicated the British throne in 1936, along with a bond style ski lodge and ranch in the US.
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He bought Chelsea in 2003 but has not attended a match at Stamford Bridge for a while.
His once business partner Oleg Deripaska – an energy tycoon worth £2billion – has also been sanctioned today.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is today speaking with the Premier League and Chelsea – who only found out this morning.
She said: "Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We're committed to protecting them."
Boris Johnson said: "There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.
"Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people.
"We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies."
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