The repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict couldn’t get any worse. Apart from the chaos happening at the heart of Eastern Europe, thousands of kilometres away in West London in the United Kingdom, there’s a cloud of confusion. Following the UK government’s sanctions on Roman Abramovich, Chelsea Football Club is in turmoil.
With the recent sanctions in place, the planned sale of the prestigious club can no longer occur. What does the dramatic news mean for the players, staff and fans alike? Will matches still go on as usual? For the fans who like a little fun betting to accompany the euphoria of the matches, what will be the impact?
As long as the Blues’ matches proceed, some of the best betting apps will ensure fans won’t miss out on placing their stake on the different games. In a glimpse, let’s find out how the UK sanctions will affect Chelsea.
Roman Abramovich’s impact since his arrival at Chelsea cannot be understated. Under his stewardship, having never won the Premier League title in fifty-five years, the club has five Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, one Club World Cup, and other honours. If he were to exit the club, questions would abound whether the new owner will be ambitious in ensuring the Blues still compete for trophies.
You can think of how much the new owner is willing to spend on buying players or giving existing players lucrative contracts. Chelsea is still competing on three fronts—the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup. What impact will the sanctions have on the rest of the season?
The good news is that the UK government has granted a special licence to allow the Blues to complete their matches until the end of the season. That means players and existing staff will still receive their salaries. However, there’s a slight catch in the expenditure on home and away matches. The government has put a cap of £500,000 per fixture and per team for home matches and a cap of £20,000 on away games.
Revenue from TV broadcasting payments and prize money will still trickle in but frozen in the club’s accounts. At first, the UK government was quick to halt the sale of Chelsea FC, but following improved discussions between interested parties, a solution seems on the way.
When it comes to performance on the pitch, the Blues seem unaffected if recent results are anything to go by. After announcing the sanctions, Chelsea has won against Norwich and Newcastle in the Premier League, Lille in the Champions League and has an upcoming FA Cup tie against Middlesborough.
Chelsea’s manager Thomas Tuchel and the players have insisted they focus on footballing matters on the pitch rather than what’s happening outside. Despite the positive response from the players and the UK government, the sanctions are still hitting hard in certain aspects.
Only fans who bought match tickets before 10th March 2022 can attend matches. So, people who have season tickets will still watch games till the end of the season. From 10th March, tickets will no longer be on sale on the club’s website or shops, implying that there’ll be a limited number of Chelsea fans at games and no away fans.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, teams managed to play behind closed doors with no fans, but with the easing of measures, stadiums are packed nowadays. Will the Chelsea players’ performance be affected by the reduced number of fans? Only time will tell. Also, no merchandise will be for sale at the stadium and online store.
Future transfers and contracts are in limbo. Due to the sanctions, Chelsea can’t agree to any new transfers or hold contract talks with existing players. Unless the current climate changes, players out of contract in the summer will be leaving. Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are some high profile players who might be walking out of Stamford Bridge in the summer.
When talking of sponsorship, several companies have axed their deals—Hyundai and ‘3’— while Nike is considering ending their agreement. A consequence is dwindling revenue streams will make the prospect of a points deduction and administration real.
The UK government is well aware football is a cultural asset to the country and is determined to resolve the situation as soon as possible. On Abramovich’s end, he stands the possibility of not receiving a single penny from the sale of the club that he has valued at £3billion.
A charity organisation can receive the funds to benefit victims of the Ukraine war, or the government may freeze it. If the Russian oligarch insists on receiving funds from the sale of the club, then Chelsea stands the chance of sinking further.