Things have taken a harsh turn for Chelsea after its owner had its assets frozen by the UK Government.
Blues owner, Roman Abramovich, was accused by the UK Government of aiding Russia's Ukraine offensive.
This accusation had Abramovich sanctioned by the United Kingdom Government and led to his overseas assets being frozen, including his football club, Chelsea.
This move was announced on March 10, when news went round that Abramovich, alongside six other high net-being Russians, would be slammed with an asset freeze and travel ban.
Following the ban, Blues have consistently been on the news because they are now in a period of uncertainty as the club is being linked to geopolitics.
Here is the twist, Chelsea can be sold but will be at Abramovich’s loss.
Chelsea can only be sold but neither Abramovich nor the Russian Federation can benefit from the sale.
A statement from the UK government stated that:
"While the current license does not permit the sale of the club at this time, the Government is open to a sale of the club and would consider an application for a new license to allow for a sale.
"Proceeds from any sale could not go to the sanctioned individual while he is subject to sanctions."
At the time of writing, over 20 buyers are gearing to purchase Chelsea.
Can the Blues still go to the pitch?
Chelsea can still play matches but under a special 'Russia Regulations' license.
This means they now have some strict terms and conditions to follow.
They can no longer sell tickets for their home games, only season ticket holders will be allowed to see the match.
The Club can not sign in any new players due to the terms of their license. In the same vein, players cannot be transferred or sold – a ban they just got out from about three years ago.
Well, the club can move money in and out of other clubs for outstanding payments related to contracts that were done before the sanctions were imposed but they will find it difficult to renew expiring contracts of players like Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Xavier Simons and several talented young players whose deals will expire in summer.
When will the ban be lifted?
This remains an unanswered question. This ban is a direct result of Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. No one knows when Putin will halt the offensive.
Although the sanction will be reviewed in May, it doesn’t seem like it will be in Chelsea’s favour.
Why Roman Abramovich?
The UK Government described Abramovich as a "pro-Kremlin oligarch who has been involved in destabilizing Ukraine." He is considered to be an individual who has a "close relationship with Putin" and even provided steel for tanks in Russia's offensive.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his government's release said that:
"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."