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Report: Chelsea's Credit Cards Frozen Amid Roman Abramovich Sanctions

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMarch 12, 2022

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Barclays has suspended Chelsea's credit cards amid Great Britain sanctions against Russian oligarchs in the country like Blues owner Roman Abramovich, per multiple reports, during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Those sanctions led to Chelsea's assets being frozen Thursday. 

Per James Olley of ESPN, "the limitations on spending—which include a cap of around £20,000 ($26,000) on travel to away matches and a £500,000 ($652,000) limit on the cost of staging home games—have led Barclays to suspend the club's credit cards for fear of breaching government rules."

"The licence allows the club to continue with day-to-day activities but the banks don't have the risk appetite for it," a source told The Times. "They've frozen some of the corporate credit cards. It's put a lot more pressure on the club."

In turn, there are serious questions about how the club will meet its operating costs and financial obligations if the sanctions continue for a significant period: 

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

The expectation is the licence will be amended in the coming days and that Chelsea.will complete the season. Club sale would also sort this out. Sale needs to happen asap imo

Abramovich already announced he would sell the club "in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club's sponsors and partners" earlier this month and handed stewardship of Chelsea to its charitable foundation. 

But any sale would have to go through the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and given the current circumstances, Abramovich is highly unlikely to get close to his $3.9 billion valuation of the club.

Matt Slater of The Athletic UK reported that the government has given Chelsea "the green light" to sell the club.

Per that report, "there is confidence a deal could be agreed within the next four to six weeks, with several credible interested parties. There have not yet been any formal bids made."

The financial fallout has gone beyond English sanctions. Kit sponsor Three has also dissolved its deal with the club, worth $52.4 million per year. Nike, however, has not dropped its 15-year deal with the club worth $1.1 billion at this juncture, per The Athletic's Adam Crafton.

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