Chelsea's bank account frozen by Barclays as Abramovich sanctions leave club in turmoil

11 March 2022, 20:04

Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC's owner, has been hit with sanctions.
Roman Abramovich, Chelsea FC's owner, has been hit with sanctions. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Chelsea FC have had their bank account frozen after its Russian owner Roman Abramovich was hit by sanctions over his links to Vladimir Putin.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Barclays says it's still assessing a government license, which is supposed to allow them to continue football-related activities.

The club has also been blocked from selling merchandise or signing players, while Three has suspended its sponsorship deal.

Abramovich was one of seven oligarchs hit with sanctions valued up to £15bn, the government said on Thursday.

The Russian oligarch has had his assets frozen, and has been prohibited from carrying out transactions with UK individuals and businesses. He also faces a travel ban and 'transport sanctions,' the government said.

Read more: Russia 'stockpiles Ukrainian corpses' to plant at Chernobyl 'man-made catastrophe'

Read more: Russian state TV defies Putin and finally starts broadcasting criticism of the war

It has left his West London club, who he transformed with enormous investment into part of the elite of English and European football, in chaos.

Reports have suggested the club is at risk of going bust if it is not sold before a licence expires at the end of May.

Chelsea fans were criticised after they chanted the club owner's name during the 3-1 away win to Norwich last night.

Downing Street issued a statement, reminding fans of the allegation that Abramovich has supported the Putin regime.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "We understand the strength of feelings that Chelsea fans will have and the passion for their club, but it's important to remember that these sanctions are being imposed on those who have provided support to the Putin regime and the brutal assault on Ukraine."

It comes after Three, the club's kit sponsor, said it would be ending its deal with the Premier League team.

The mobile phone company said it was the "right thing to do" given Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

A spokesman said its brand will be removed from the team's shirts and around the stadium until further notice.

Read more: 'We will win': Defiant Zelenskyy vows not to give 'single piece' of land to Putin

Abramovich had tried to distance himself from the club after the Russian invasion of Ukraine triggered a series of Western sanctions against oligarchs, saying he had placed it in the hands of a trust.

It appears the new measures have put any attempt at selling Chelsea to new owners on ice for now. The Telegraph said the Government would have to approve any sale.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Hundreds of households have been without water amid the blistering heat.

Hundreds of households without water as blistering heat set to reach 35C before thunderstorms batter UK

The stage hit festival-goers at the Medusa Festival near Valencia.

One killed and dozens injured after stage at Spanish music festival crashes down in 'strong wind'

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, has faced criticism for his remarks.

Mick Lynch suggests EU influence and Ukrainians 'playing with Nazi imagery' provoked Russian invasion

Train strikes are set to grind the country to a halt on Saturday.

Major travel disruption across UK as train drivers strike over pay - find out the services affected

Britney Spears still married her husband Sam Asghari despite ex-husband Jason Alexander (right) attempting to "crash" it in an Instagram live.

Britney Spears' ex-husband jailed for trying to crash her wedding to Sam Asghari

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage. The suspect was named by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey.

Salman Rushdie on a ventilator and may lose an eye after being stabbed on stage in New York, agent says

The Mar-a-Lago Estate, owned by Donald Trump, lies at the water's edge in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald Trump being investigated under Espionage Act, unsealed search warrant reveals

Anne Heche has died a week after the crash in LA

'We have lost a bright light': Hollywood actress Anne Heche dies aged 53 after LA car crash

The incidents took place in Skye and Dornie

Man appears in court charged with Isle of Skye murder and three attempted murders including his wife

Heritage Railway staff tell Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods next week

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods in London

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage

Police identify suspect after Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck and abdomen while on stage at New York event

Pensioner cleared of killing baby boy, 5, due to her undiagnosed dementia

Pensioner, 75, with undiagnosed dementia cleared of causing crash that killed baby boy

Ryan Giggs denies the charges against him

'There's blood everywhere, she's in so much pain': 999 call played at Ryan Giggs trial

Which? reveals the best staycation destinations across the UK

The UK's best staycation destinations revealed: York, Belfast and Edinburgh top poll

Huge fires have been ravaging parts of southern France

Seven European countries send help to battle ‘monster’ wildfire ravaging southern France