The UK government’s stance on Chelsea’s plan to repay Abramovich’s loans

Chelsea may not get UK government approval for the takeover of the club as the club plans to restructure the terms of sale to allow Roman Abramovich to repay a £1.6billion debt, according to The Telegraph.

In early March, Abramovich announced his decision to sell Chelsea as he felt it was in the “best interests of the club”.

In the official statement, he also mentioned that he would not request any loan repayments.

He was obviously referring to the £1.6billion loans he has injected into the club over the past two decades.

At the time, this made sense from a financial point of view, because the market value of the club had to take these investments into account in the first place.

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However, soon after, the British government imposed sanctions on Abramovich and his assets, including Chelsea.

Photo by Michael Regan – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The Blues have been granted a special license to operate, but that does not include approval for a change in ownership.

For this, Chelsea will have to apply for another license, to which the government is open under a specific condition.

“Proceeds from any sale could not go to the sanctioned individual while they are subject to sanctions,” the UK government said.

Things have gotten complicated recently.

Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The Telegraph claims that in an amended proposal issued late last week, Chelsea’s parent company Fordstam Ltd would repay the loans to offshore Camberley International Investments, which is believed to be linked to Abramovich.

However, several Whitehall insiders told the Telegraph the ministers’ position remained that Chelsea would not get approval for the sale if the Russian-Israeli billionaire received a dime.

As the current license expires at the end of this month, the club are now under even more pressure to complete the sale.

Last week, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said Chelsea were on “borrowed time” and the sale of the club was due “within weeks” (BBC).

The Telegraph mentioned Whitehall sources had raised concerns there would be a real ‘existential crisis’ if the Chelsea sale was not completed by May 31.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football stats. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.

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