Chelsea is in bad condition after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the United Kingdom for his ties to Vladimir Putin, putting uncertainty on the club’s future.
The shocking news on Thursday basically implies that Abramovich will be unable to sell the club. Chelsea can, however, request a special dispensation, which would be granted if the Government believes a change of ownership is in the club’s best interests, as long as it does not benefit Abramovich.
In that case, the government is likely to assume control of the sale, with the revenues either frozen or going to a charitable fund, possibly for Ukraine’s war victims.
As a result, Abramovich is faced with a choice: accept the Government’s terms and lose the club for nothing, or let Chelsea perish.
The Russian billionaire is expected to go ahead with the sale to ensure the club’s stability, even if it means he won’t get a penny for an asset he was hoping to sell for £3 billion last week.
Candy, whose attempts to buy Chelsea was disclosed by Sportsmail earlier this week, is one of the remaining contenders. Chelsea had negotiations with the government on Thursday night, amid concerns that they might be unable to complete the game. Officials from the Blues sought changes to the license that allowed them to operate.
Chelsea was unable to sell match tickets, was forced to close the club shop, and was banned from taking hotel reservations at Stamford Bridge due to a slew of limitations.
They were told they couldn’t buy or sell players or offer new contracts, and they were limited to a £20,000 travel budget for away games.
They’ve been told that they can only pay’reasonable costs’ for hosting home games, which aren’t to exceed £500,000 per game, per team. However, some believe that the limits on transportation and hosting matches should be raised to prevent the club from losing money.
Chelsea will continue to receive payments for television broadcasts and prize money, but these will be frozen. Existing employees and players will be compensated.
The club will also demand contract clarity, as a number of prominent players’ contracts are set to expire at the end of the season. Chelsea will lose defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Cesar Azpilicueta this summer because they are unable to renew their contracts.
Despite the huge uncertainty, manager Thomas Tuchel and his players were addressed by club officials before Thursday night’s win at Norwich. They were encouraged to focus on the football.
Following Thursday’s events, the Blues could lose millions in sponsorship revenue. Three has placed their £40 million shirt sponsorship deal on hold, while Nike, who signed a 15-year, £900 million deal with Chelsea in 2016, is considering walking away. The club would lose £540 million as a result.
To make matters worse, Chelsea’s rivals are standing up to take advantage of their situation, with two players who were set to join the Blues’ academy already being approached by other Premier League clubs due to the club’s inability to bring in new talent.
Meanwhile, Pat Nevin, who played 193 times for the club, later confirmed on BBC 5Live that some of the club’s personnel had already been ‘partially laid off’ as a result of the financial fines imposed on Thursday.
Chelsea’s future is still ‘in serious danger,’ according to the former Blues star, who still writes for the club’s website. He also urged Abramovich to sell to the ‘right people.’
Three UK’s decision to end its sponsorship deal with Chelsea might spark a wave of business boycotts, depriving Chelsea of tens of millions of pounds in revenue and putting the club on the verge of bankruptcy.
Analysts believe that other sponsors will follow Three in order to avoid ‘guilt by association’ with Abramovich, who officials claim owes at least part of his £9.4 billion fortune to his acquaintance with Vladimir Putin.
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Chelsea made £154 million in commercial deals last year. Prior to Covid’s arrival, the club had received £200 million in sponsorship.
Three’s announcement came only hours after the business announced support packages for Ukrainian immigrants landing in the UK, including free 30-day pre-paid pay-as-you-go sim cards.
Although Sky Sports reported claims by a Chelsea player’s representative that the club had already paid for this year’s travel in advance, the £20,000 cap on away match travel poses severe logistical difficulties for the team’s Champions League game in Lille next Wednesday.
Because Champions League tickets are often acquired separately from season tickets, it’s possible that games will be played effectively behind closed doors.
Executives are also claimed to be concerned about the £500,000 maximum budget for hosting home games, which includes expenses like as management, security, and catering supplies.
Chelsea announced on Thursday that it “planned to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the extent of the license.”
Based on a £47 minimum ticket cost for the 12,834 seats at Stamford Bridge that are not currently occupied by season ticket holders, the ticket ban will cost the club more than £600,000 every game.
Abramovich has been restricted from doing business in the UK, trying to put his plan to sell Chelsea on hold. His tainted billions boosted Chelsea from mid-table mediocrity to five Premier League titles.