Football: UK property magnate Candy to give Chelsea fans seat on board if he buys club, says report

British property developer Nick Candy also said he would offer short-term funding to Chelsea if the club faces a cash crunch. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - British property developer Nick Candy will give Chelsea fans a seat on the board if he buys the club from Roman Abramovich and also provide short-term funding after Britain sanctioned the Russian billionaire, Sky News reported.

Anyone interested in buying Chelsea can make a proposal to the government, Britain said on Friday (March 11) after it hit Abramovich, 55, with sanctions in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The announcement halted Abramovich's plans to sell the club, which he had expected to fetch more than £3 billion (S$5.33 billion).

The 49-year-old Candy, a Chelsea supporter since boyhood, said on Friday he was interested in making a bid.

Sky News reported that the proposal to offer a seat to fans on the board was a central part of Candy's pitch to buy Chelsea and he was in talks with financiers about joining his bid ahead of a deadline for offers at the end of the week.

He will also offer short-term funding if Chelsea face a cash crunch, the report added.

The government on Saturday amended its special licence issued to Chelsea to operate so the club could spend £900,000 to stage each game.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for a reported £140 million and his investment resulted in the most successful era in their history, with the club winning five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.

The Premier League board on Saturday disqualified Abramovich as a director at the club after he was sanctioned.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbour's military capabilities and "de-Nazify" the country.

The invasion, launched on Feb 24, has sent more than 2.5 millions fleeing across borders and trapped thousands of people in besieged cities.

Nearly 125,000 people have been evacuated via humanitarian corridors from conflict zones in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address on Sunday (March 13).

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The entry on the British sanctions list described Abramovich as a "pro-Kremlin oligarch" who enjoyed "a close relationship for decades" with Mr Putin. Abramovich has denied having such ties.

Chelsea, who are third in the league, host Newcastle United later on Sunday.

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