Chelsea FC: Roman Abramovich Could Be Targeted, Says David Cameron

Following Russiaai??i??s annexation of Crimea, the British Prime Minister has suggested that sanctions may be taken against Chelsea owner Roman AbramovichAi??which can severely affect the fate of Chelsea FC in the days to come.

United States of America and the European Union are targeting Russian oligarchs and are planning to issue severe financial sanctions against those who are close to Vladimir Putin. Though no sanctions have been issued against Roman Abramovich who is the primary owner of Chelsea FC, David Cameroon has made it quite clear that sanctions against Abramovich cannot be ruled out.

Financial sanctions against Russian oligarchs will include freezing of bank accounts along with assets which will cripple and paralyze their business institutions in Europe and America. This means that if Roman Abramovich finds himself in the target list, then all his assets in America and Europe will be frozen, leaving him with no money whatsoever to pay the bills.

If this were to happen, then it will seriously jeopardize Chelseaai??i??s future and the Russian owner might be arm twisted into selling the football club in order to keep his finances in order. In such a scenario, Chelsea FC might find itself in a very precarious position with severe questions regarding its future. Who will be the new owner? Will he able to keep the club afloat? Will he manage to pay the bills? Or will Chelsea FC have to sell its players to keep the club alive?

These are very valid questions that are doing the rounds and at present no clear solution appears to be available on the horizon. It is not often that foreign affairs affect the fate of a football club but it now seems that Chelsea FC will have to pay the price for being owned by a Russian businessman. Chelsea invested severely in new players and flamboyantly flexed its financial muscle under Roman Abramovichai??i??s ownership but it now seems that the club is dangerously close to losing everything it gained in the past decade.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott believes that England must make its intentions very clear by issuing sanctions against the likes of Roman Abramovich, even if that meant him selling the football club.

“If we were really serious about it, if Roman Abramovich, for example, as people say is very close to Putin and part of the inner circle, an asset freeze on him would really bite, even if he had to sell Chelsea.”

The Western world is targeting those businessmen who are reportedly close to Putin and hence might be funding his government either legally or illegally. Roman Abramovich is reportedly close to Putin and is one of his closest advisor. Hence there are many anti-Putin agitators who are calling for sanctions against the Russian oligarch.

ai???Such sanctions should primarily target Mr. Putinai??i??s inner circle, the Kremlin mafia who pillage the nationai??i??s wealth, including Gennady N. Timchenko, head of the Volga Group; Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, influential businessmen and former judo sparring partners of Mr. Putin; Yuri V. Kovalchuk, a financier believed to be Mr. Putinai??i??s banker; Vladimir I. Yakunin, president of Russian Railways; the oligarchs Roman A. Abramovich and Alisher B. Usmanov; and Igor I. Sechin and Aleksei B. Miller, the heads of Rosneft and Gazprom, respectively.ai???

However reports also suggest that Britain is very eager to not pay for the repercussions of the sanctions that are to be issued against the Russian businessmen. It plans only to cripple Russiaai??i??s intentions and not its own economy. Hence it is very likely that no action will be taken against Chelseaai??i??s owners keeping in mind the wide repercussions that such an action will have.

So what will happen to Chelsea and its owners? Will Chelsea find itself in a fix due to its ownerai??i??s nationality and vested interests or will Britain avoid crippling one of its favourite football clubs? Such answers are never easy to arrive at. For now, all that we can hope for is a peaceful settlement of all international disputes. And not just for Chelseaai??i??s sake.

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