Roman Abramovich expects Chelsea’s £1.5bn loan to be frozen after club sale
Roman Abramovich expects his £1.5bn Chelsea loan to be frozen when the club is sold, according to the PA news agency.
It is believed that fears have been raised within the government that Abramovich could insist that his loan be repaid, which could jeopardize the whole sale process.
Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich has reportedly been told that British government sanctions against him are blocking his plans to write off Chelsea’s debt.
The 55-year-old has pledged to cancel his Chelsea loan as he confirmed he had put the Stamford Bridge club up for sale on March 2, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Downing Street imposed sanctions on Abramovich on March 10, claiming to have proven the business tycoon’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The terms of those sanctions left Chelsea’s parent company, Fordstam Limited, frozen, with the Blues operating under a special government licence.
And now the longtime Chelsea owner expects his loan at the club to be frozen once the sale is complete.
Abramovich has pledged to start a new charitable foundation and donate all proceeds from Chelsea’s sale to help victims of war in Ukraine when the Blues were initially put up for sale.
The government is likely to divert proceeds from the sale to charitable causes, but Downing Street chiefs could also freeze those funds.
The sale of Chelsea must be completed by May 31, when the special government license expires.
The Raine Group and Chelsea both expect the sale to remain on track to meet that deadline.
The consortium bid by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly was reportedly selected as the preferred bidder by the Raine Group, the New York investment bank overseeing the sale of Chelsea.
Boehly beat out bids from Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca to receive preferred bidder status which brings the American tycoon ever closer to a takeover.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s last-minute offer on Friday, however, halted the entire selling process, with Britain’s richest man expected to continue his bid to buy the Blues.