The Premier League board has disqualified Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich as a director at the English top-flight football club.
Roman Abramovich has been disqualified as a director of Chelsea by the Premier League board after he was sanctioned by the British government over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the league said in a statement on Saturday.
Abramovich, who had been under scrutiny after Russia’s invasion, said last week that he was selling the London club. But the sale is now on hold, with Chelsea operating under a special government licence.
“The Board’s decision does not impact on the club’s ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a licence issued by the Government which expires on 31 May 2022,” the league said.
The government welcomed the move, and said it was not opposed to the sale of the club. It added that it had amended the special licence so that the club could spend £900,000 on staging each of its matches.
“We welcome the Premier League’s action to disqualify Roman Abramovich as the Director of the football club. The Government has made clear that we need to hold to account those who have enabled the Putin regime,” a spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.
“We are open to a sale of the club and would consider an application for a licence to allow that to happen,” he added.
The team can continue playing games and pay players and staff but cannot transfer players in or out, as the government tries to prevent Abramovich from benefiting in any way from such moves.