Chelsea sale by Roman Abramovich faces setback after British approval

The saga in which Roman Abramovich tried to sell Chelsea continues to have plot twists, as billions of dollars are still at stake.

The British government plans to approve Roman Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea, as it emerged that Portugal may have to sign the deal because the Russian billionaire has a Portuguese passport.

The sun reports that the government is finally ready to sign the proposed $7.5 billion sale to the consortium led by Todd Boehly, co-owner of Los Angeles Dodgers.

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The sun The UK government believes Abramovich has now made sufficient commitments for the Treasury Department and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to sign the acquisition.

The oligarch has given legally binding guarantees on the $2.8 billion loan he has provided over the past 19 years, which Chelsea have financed for the past 19 years, and promises that none of it will go to him or his family.

That was seen as the final impediment to a sale and paved the way for Boehly to take the helm.

Under sanctions imposed on him for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Abramovich was not allowed to profit from the sale of the English Premier League giants.

Initially, the 55-year-old accepted those terms, but later suspicions arose that he was trying to arrange the sale in a way that could ensure that $2.8 billion flowed back to him or his associates.

Now that that dilemma has been resolved, it has led to British politicians giving the green light to Abramovich’s sale of Chelsea. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a foregone conclusion.

Government sources in the UK allege senior European Union officials are blocking the deal because they have not yet accepted the terms of the sale.

Abramovich has also been sanctioned by the EU, as well as Britain, for his alleged support for Putin after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

And the EU’s financial leaders have raised some technical concerns that have not been resolved so far, meaning they could refuse to ratify the sale.

A UK government insider said: “The deal has major hurdles to overcome.

“Everyone wants to close the deal, but with the complicated nature of the deal and Chelsea’s ownership structures, nothing is easy.

“We are working hard to secure our international partners, who rightly want their own guarantees about this deal and of course how the proceeds will ultimately be spent.”

UEFA regulations mean that unless an operating agreement is signed before 9 June, Chelsea will not be allowed to participate in next season’s Champions League, while the current license expires at the end of this month.

The source warned: “Time is running out, this deal must be completed before the end of Tuesday, otherwise important football deadlines could be missed and the club at risk.”

Last week there were reports from the UK of the government’s “alarm” over the failed sale due to a bottleneck over Abramovich’s $2.8 billion loan.

However, that seems settled and now the ball is in the EU’s court.

This article first appeared on The Sun and is reproduced with permission

Originally published as Twists Keep Coming in Roman Abramovich’s Effort to Sell Chelsea for $7.5 Billion

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