Chelsea’s Champions League game at Lille tomorrow night is ‘at real risk’ of being called off, according to figures in France, after club owner Roman Abramovich was added to the sanctions ‘blacklist’ of the European Union.
In the UK, the Blues were able to continue operating after obtaining a government license, despite Abramovich having come under the spotlight for his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine .
This acts as an exemption, allowing them to go about their sporting activities as usual, but it has now emerged that the club may need a similar license to be able to play their match – and generate revenue – on French soil. .
L’Equipe reported that this documentation was “necessary” for Chelsea, who are still, de facto, owned by businessman Abramovich. The same media, however, indicates that the decision may be granted by the authorities out of respect for “sporting fairness”.
The “blacklist” named by the EU this morning includes a number of new Russian oligarchs. They said it had been decided “to impose a fourth round of economic and individual sanctions due to [this] military aggression’, namely the bloodshed in Ukraine.
Various stakeholders from Chelsea, UEFA and the Council of the EU have reportedly been made aware of the risks and consequences arising from the new sanctions.
On the uncertain situation, a source confides to L’Equipe: “If there is no exception listed in the texts… concerning these sanctions, I think that there is a real risk for the holding of the match in Lille and the players involved”. in this meeting.’
Chelsea’s Champions League game at Lille tomorrow is at ‘real risk’ of being called off
Club owner Roman Abramovich named on European Union sanctions ‘blacklist’
Abramovich added to the EU sanctions list will see him subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze. He is targeted for his “privileged access” to Putin, with whom he has “very good relations”, according to a draft document.
The same document adds that Abramovich benefited financially from those ties, helping him become “one of Russia’s leading businessmen” in industries that provided a “substantial source of revenue” for the Russian government.
“These sanctions will further increase economic pressure on the Kremlin and cripple its ability to fund its invasion of Ukraine,” the European Commission said, adding that the restrictions have been coordinated with allies.
EU diplomats reportedly finalized the sanctions text yesterday.
As things stand, UEFA are said to be ‘confident’ that the second leg of the round of 16 will go ahead as planned – and therefore Chelsea will be looking to minimize disruption to trips to Lille after the government established restrictions. strict budgets for their travel. trips.
Thomas Tuchel has insisted that no matter what, he and his players will be at the stadium
As part of the crackdown, the travel cap currently stands at £20,000, a prohibitive figure which has thrown the club’s plans into chaos.
Manager Thomas Tuchel, however, insisted that whatever happens, he and his players will be at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium tomorrow night.
Speaking after his side’s win over Newcastle, he said: “My last piece of information is that we have a plane.” You can go by plane and come back by plane. Otherwise, we go by train. And otherwise we go there by bus. And if not, I’ll be driving a seven-seater!
“If you asked me 20 years, 30 years ago if I would join a Champions League game on the sidelines and what I’m ready to do, I would say ‘where do I need to be and when?
Abramovich was targeted for his ‘privileged access’ to Russian President Vladimir Putin
‘We will be there.
“Of course on an organizational level there are negotiations, but we have brilliant guys who organize the trips and in each department there are people who are so committed that things at the moment seem completely normal. .”
Meanwhile, parties interested in bidding for Chelsea over the next few days have been asked to submit a detailed report on all investors.
Ahead of Friday’s deadline, those who intend to make offers after being asked to file full details of their motivations for the club to go ahead.
Parties interested in bidding for Chelsea before Friday’s deadline (such as British property tycoon Nick Candy, left) have been asked to submit a detailed report on all investors.
Sources close to the Chelsea sale say there are around 200 interested parties
As reported by sports mailsources say there are up to 200 interested parties.
As it stands, property developer Nick Candy, a consortium led by LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and a group led by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton are among those seen as the hottest contenders. more serious.
Yesterday news of a £2.7billion bid from Saudi Media Group emerged.
New York-based merchant banker Raine is advising Chelsea on the sale, while club manager Marina Granovskaia is offering advice to groups during the process.
What Chelsea can and can’t do after Abramovich sanctions
- Play all their matches, home and away;
- Pay the salaries of players and staff;
- Provide stewards, security, and food and drink to fans;
- Receive television broadcasting revenues;
- The sale of the club could still take place, as long as Abramovich does not benefit financially.
- Sell tickets to home or away fans – only existing ticket holders will be allowed to attend;
- Accept any new transfer or contract;
- Sell goods at the stadium or online;
- Spend over £20,000 on out-of-town trips.