Impact of the UK’s Sanctions on Chelsea
Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich has owned Chelsea Football Club since 2003. Under his stewardship, the club has won every major trophy possible in professional soccer, accruing 19 major honors in total. This figure ties Manchester United for the most trophies won by an English club in that span. Before Abramovich’s involvement with the club, Chelsea won 15 trophies in its 98-year history leading up to 2003. On paper, Abramovich has been one of the most successful owners during the Premier League era, but it would appear the best thing going forward for the club would be to cut ties with the Russian.
In a statement by the club last week, Abramovic said, “I have always taken decisions with [Chelsea’s] best interest at heart. In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.”
There’s a moral internal conflict amongst Chelsea fans – support the owner who has turned their side into a European juggernaut or condemn him for his relationship and involvement with Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is only one right answer: to do what’s best for Chelsea and to do what’s best for promoting world peace. The longer Abramovich has control of Chelsea, the more likely the club will suffer.
The recent events between Russia and Ukraine have put the sustainability of the football club at risk, with the UK government taking authoritative action within the last 24 hours by instilling sanctions that have frozen the asset. If these sanctions remain in place for long enough, it will cripple the club’s on-field performance by driving away sponsorship opportunities and hindering player recruitment. Chelsea is an essential pillar to the community and economy of London, as well as a big part of many fans’ lives worldwide. This is why preserving this brand should be paramount for the Premier League and England.
These recent events also open up the discussion for how the Premier League should better evaluate potential new club owners in the future. Many debate the Saudi Arabia-led consortium’s takeover of Newcastle United in 2021, due to the new ownership’s history of human rights issues. It’s time for the Premier League to ensure that suitable measures are in place to protect the integrity of this global game.
A Message to Our Audience…
Here at FromTheStands, we condemn the actions carried out by the Russian government. We hope for a swift, peaceful resolution to this conflict and stand with the victims fighting for their freedom in Ukraine.