They just couldn’t leave it well alone, for just a few more days, could they? They just had to do something five days before the reported bidding deadline, after not doing anything for nearly two weeks.
Today, the UK government have (finally) sanctioned Roman Abramovich for being “associated with a person who is or has been involved in destabilising Ukraine and undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, namely Vladimir Putin, with whom Abramovich has had a close relationship for decades”, freezing all of his UK-based assets, which of course (still) include Chelsea Football Club.
What does this mean?
Well, we’re still in the process of figure that out, but as of right now, it looks like the club can continue to operate but on a somewhat limited basis. We can play, we can train, everyone can get paid. We can receive broadcast fees and transfer fees (which would then be immediately frozen as well).
Massive news: Roman Abramovich sanctioned. All UK assets frozen. Chelsea can still operate under a special licence but sale now on hold. Club will not be allowed to sell any more tickets - only season ticket holders can go to games for the foreseeable future.— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 10, 2022
However, it looks like no new ticket sales are allowed (i.e. season ticket holders only, or presumably single tickets already sold), no merchandising operations (save for existing stock already acquired by third-party resellers), and apparently cannot spend on any sort of contractual (or transfer) business either, which might be a bit of a problem if it carries on too long.
Free tickets all round imo.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) March 10, 2022
And obviously the club may not be sold now, since it’s a frozen asset (unless maybe some sort of special dispensation is made?).
You know that “uncharted territory” we’ve been talking about? Chelsea are in it. With RA sanctioned, club can operate under licence, pay bills/wages, receive TV payments/transfer fees. No more matchday tickets or merch, though. As for the sale? See #9 https://t.co/LfBGMTBQsr— Matt Slater (@mjshrimper) March 10, 2022
These restrictions are currently set to expire on May 31, but that seems like a meaningless date or deadline at this moment.
This is very much a developing situation, so stay tuned I guess...