Roman Abramovich's attempt to sell
Chelsea has been halted after the oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government
as part of its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian put the European champions up for sale after the threat of sanctions was raised in Parliament.
The freezing of Abramovich's assets, which
include Chelsea, means the club cannot sell further match tickets.
The move is intended to stop
Abramovich making money from Chelsea.
The government has issued a special
licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing
ticket-holders to attend matches.
Season-ticket holders can still
attend games for which they have tickets but the club cannot now sell any more
Chelsea will also be unable to buy
or sell players while the sanctions are imposed on Abramovich.
The club's merchandise shop will
also be shut.
The government is open to considering
a further addition to the special licence which will allow the sale of the
A condition for that to happen would
be that Abramovich - one of Russia's richest people who is believed to be close
to Russian President Vladimir Putin - receives no funds.
He has previously said that proceeds
of the sale would be donated to victims of war.
On Wednesday, there were 20 credible
interested parties looking at a potential Chelsea takeover. Among them was British businessman Nick Candy.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has
said the government is "committed to protecting" the club.
"Football clubs are cultural
assets and the bedrock of our communities," she tweeted.
"I know this brings some
uncertainty, but the government will work with the league and clubs to keep
football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended.
"Our priority is to hold those
who have enabled the Putin regime to account."