Football: Potential buyers for Chelsea can approach UK government

The British government sanctioned Chelsea's current owner Roman Abramovich. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (REUTERS) - Anyone interested in buying Chelsea can approach the British government and make a proposal, the government said on Friday (March 11) after it sanctioned current owner Roman Abramovich and halted his planned sale of the club.

"As the license conditions are written today, the sale would not be allowed," Britain's technology minister Chris Philp told Sky News.

"However, if a buyer emerged it would be open to that buyer or to that football club to approach the government and ask for the conditions to be varied in a way that allows that sale to take place."

The government, which has been under pressure to ramp up sanctions on Russian oligarchs after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine late last month, imposed a travel ban and froze the assets owned by Abramovich on Thursday.

The announcement effectively brought to a halt his recently-announced plans to sell the West London football club, which he had expected to fetch more than £3 billion (S$5.3 billion).

Separately, London-listed Russian steelmaker Evraz, in which Abramovich is the largest shareholder with a 28.6 per cent stake according to Refinitiv Eikon, said on Friday its entire board had quit.

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