Roman Abramovich demands repayment of £1.6bn loan to sell Chelsea

Roman Abramovich demands repayment of £1.6bn loan to sell Chelsea

Roman Abramovich is reported to be demanding the repayment of the £1.6bn Chelsea Football Club owes him.

It will be recalled the Russian oligarch has been sanctioned by the British government over his links with Russia amid the war on Ukraine.

Abramovich, who told of his intention to sell just days before being sanctioned by the UK government for his ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin, said he would ‘not be asking for any loans to be repaid.’

Yet he is now claiming, according to The Times, that the sanctions prevent him from writing off the debt, a claim which would be challenged by the government.

Abramovich previously stated when putting the club up for sale: ‘I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated.

‘The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.’

The latest news comes as it emerges that prime minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering giving some proceeds of the sale to grassroots football in the UK, yet the majority will still go towards supporting Ukraine. 

The British government are looking to avoid the proceeds of around £3billion sitting in a frozen bank account, given the sanctions against Abramovich.

This news comes with Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe still holding out hope of owning the Blues after submitting a £4.25bn bid on Friday – but American investor Todd Boehly remains in pole position.

However, LA Dodgers boss Todd Boehly looked set to win the battle to buy the Premier League giants.

Within two hours it emerged that Boehly’s group, which includes Switzerland’s richest man, Hansjorg Wyss and has also enlisted former Chancellor George Osborne, had ALREADY been given preferred status.

The other two consortiums, one led by former Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton – backed by Lewis Hamilton and Lord Seb Coe – and the other by Boston Celtics and Atalanta part-owner Stephen Pagliuca, were informed they were effectively out of the running.