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UK Government confirm lifting of all restrictions on Chelsea Football Club

Free at last, free at last

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Chelsea Takeover Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

Chelsea’s (forced) sale was officially completed yesterday after a nearly three-month-long process, with all parties confirming all the things that needed to be confirmed, signing all the things that needed to be signed, saying all the things that needed to be said ... and of course getting all the permissions that needed to be gotten.

That latter bit got extra complicated thanks to the UK Government inserting themselves into the process by sanctioning Abramovich and in turn Chelsea in early March, even though he had already put the club up for sale to spare us from becoming collateral damage to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, forgiving all of the club’s debts, and declaring his intent to donate the net proceeds to a newly established war relief charity, taking none of it for himself.

All of that is of course still happening, but now with the UK Government taking control, as well as (trying to take) the credit. Good job, politicians. Peace in our time! What would we ever do without yous?

What’s done is done however, and thankfully, with the completion of the sale, the restrictions have indeed been lifted, as confirmed by a government spokesperson yesterday as well. So yes, the MegaStore is back online — though if you’re buying, buy things with trivago rather than Three UK on it, I’d suggest.

“Today’s change of ownership marks a new chapter for Chelsea Football Club in the best interests of its fans, the club and the wider football community.

“The club is now no longer subject to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich, an individual who has enabled Putin’s brutal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine. Since sanctions were imposed on Abramovich on 10 March, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the club can continue to play football, while maintaining the integrity of our sanctions regime.

“Chelsea’s long-term future is now secured, and binding commitments have been received which ensure sanctioned individuals cannot financially benefit from the sale. The government retains control to ensure that this is the case. We have begun the process of ensuring the proceeds are used for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine that result from Russian aggression. Further details will be set out in due course.

“I personally want to thank ministers and officials in the British government, and the Premier League, for all their work in making this happen.”

-UK Government spokesperson; source: Yahoo!

I daresay we would’ve accomplished this same exact thing without any political meddling — right, Mike Penrose? — but perhaps I’ve just been sportswashed.

Anyway, here’s to the next major chapter of our footballing lives. May it be as successful, dramatic, interesting, exciting, historic as it had been for the past 19 years.

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