The time for the Tuchel club is running out
Abramovich creates new stir for Chelsea
The British government’s sanctions against Roman Abramovich also hit Chelsea. The English Premier League club will operate under a special license until the end of May. Then the club must be sold. A new claim from the Russian oligarch is now giving Westminster a headache.
The sale of the traditional English club FC Chelsea is on the verge. The Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, still the owner of the current Champions League winner, could claim back his loans of around 1.9 billion euros. Originally, the Russians, who were subject to sanctions, had announced that they would refrain from doing so. It was always about “pure passion”, he announced in early March. He also stated that he would pass on the net proceeds from the sale to the victims of the war in Ukraine. He did not explicitly mention any side and therefore did not rule out passing it on to Russian veterans.
As the English media unanimously report, Chelsea are said to have approached the UK government last week with a request for a restructuring of sales. Therefore, the club’s parent company’s debt must be settled with a Jersey-based company apparently linked to Abramovich. To the great astonishment of the Ministry of Sales for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
It must also ensure that the oligarch, whose assets have been frozen by the UK government, does not personally benefit from the sale. This should also be taken into account in the new sales structure. According to media reports, some members of the government are demanding guarantees that the repayment of the loan will not go to a sanctioned entity. However, the practical implementation of the agreement is uncertain.
The clock is counting down
The Guardian reports growing mistrust of the British government over the sale, while worrying about the future of the Premier League club. “Time is running out,” British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said last week. She referred to the government’s special permit for ongoing gaming operations, which expires on May 31, 2022. The concern now is that the sale of the club will not be completed when the new Premier League licenses are issued in mid-June.
Last week, the three remaining bidding groups held their presentations in Chelsea, where it will now be decided who will be the new owners of Stamford Bridge. The best chances are currently attributed to a consortium led by American entrepreneur Todd Boehly. He is currently Chelsea’s favorite bid for the club, beating out two other US consortia. The consortium around Boehly wants this week to negotiate a purchase of the club with Abramovich.
However, a last-minute offer from British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe could change the mood. The 69-year-old CEO of the chemical company Ineos threw hatred in the ring late and made an offer of just over five billion euros. “This is a British offer for a British club,” Ratcliffe explained. “We will continue to invest in the team to ensure we have a quality team with the best players, coaches and support staff in the world, both men and women in the club. Women.”
The club’s uncertain future is also a major concern for German coach Thomas Tuchel. Chelsea remain unable to trade until they are sold, are not allowed to sign any players or extend any contracts. So Tuchel fears for the competitiveness of the blues. With the German national player Antonio Rüdiger and the Dane Andreas Christensen, two free transfer departures are already almost certain.
Rudiger is going to Real Madrid, and Christensen, his partner in central defense, is in negotiations with FC Barcelona. The Catalans are hoping for more transfers from London. With Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, four offensive players could leave the club. “Of course our hands are tied now. We can still hold talks internally, but we can not act. The situation is not ideal,” Tuchel said last week, and the situation has not changed.