Chelsea news LIVE: Club breaks silence on freeze, Three SUSPEND shirt deal, Abramovich club sale BANNED – latest updates

CHELSEA have broken their silence on the freezing of their assets by the UK government.

Roman Abramovich has been BANNED from selling Chelsea by the government amid sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

There will be no transfers or new contracts and the club have been blocked from selling TICKETS to matches, as well as merchandise.

Meanwhile, the Blues were given some rare cheer as they took all three points at Norwich with a 3-1 win, with Kai Havertz stealing the show.

The Russian's assets have been frozen and the club have been given special dispensation to conduct football-related activity only.

Shirt sponsor Three have also suspended their deal with the Blues, asking for their logo not to appear on shirts for the foreseeable future.

It comes as New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and a private Saudi consortium had joined the race to buy the club.

Billionaire Abramovich is said to have had over 300 parties express their interest in buying the Blues he values at £3billion.

And Turkish billionaire Muhsin Bayrak said he was in talks to buy the club, adding: "The Turkish flag will fly over London."

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and American Todd Boehly had also shown interest in purchasing the club.

But Abramovich is said to have rejected a £2.5bn offer for the West Londoners from another group.


Follow ALL of the latest updates and transfer gossip from Stamford Bridge right here…

  • Anthony Chapman

    A reminder of Chelsea’s statement

    "By virtue of his 100 per cent ownership of Chelsea FC plc and affiliated entities, Chelsea FC would normally be subject to the same sanctions regime as Mr Abramovich.

    "However, the UK Government has issued a general licence that permits Chelsea FC to continue certain activities.

    "We will fulfil our men’s and women’s team fixtures today against Norwich and West Ham, respectively, and intend to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence.

    "This will include seeking permission for the licence to be amended in order to allow the Club to operate as normal as possible.

    "We will also be seeking guidance from the UK Government on the impact of these measures on the Chelsea Foundation and its important work in our communities.

    "The Club will update further when it is appropriate to do so."

  • Anthony Chapman

    Candy still hopeful of takeover

    Nick Candy is still keen on buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich despite the Russian being hit by sanctions.

    The British billionaire has a £2.5billion proposal ready, including a £1.5bn plan for redeveloping Stamford Bridge.

    Candy told the Mail: "We are examining the details of the announcement and we are still interested in making a bid.

    "Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans. 

    “In our view no one is the owner of a football club – you are the custodian of it for the fans and the community."

  • Anthony Chapman

    Conte defends time at Chelsea

    Antonio Conte has defended his decision to work for Roman Abramovich.

    The Spurs boss said: “We are talking about four or five years ago.

    “At the time, and now, we're talking about a fantastic club in Chelsea. With an owner who made this club big.

    “Don't forget that in the period he was the owner, Chelsea won everything.

    “I think also we have seen other Russia owners in other teams. Not only in football but in many sports.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    Juventus offer Pulisic escape route

    Juventus are reportedly ready to bid for Christian Pulisic this summer.

    Calciomercato claims Max Allegri is a huge fan of the American winger.

    And Juve reckons they can get Pulisic on the cheap as they look to take advantage of Chelsea’s perilous position.

  • Anthony Chapman

    Roman ‘supplied steel for tanks’

    Roman Abramovich has been accused of supplying steel for Russian tanks as biting new sanctions were brought against the embattled Chelsea boss.

    Documents published this morning by the British government accuse the Chelsea boss of having a "close relationship" with Putin.

    And it also accuses him of being involved in ‘destabilising’ Ukraine through his stake in steel manufacturers and mining company Evraz PLC.

    The documents allege the firm may have provided steel to the Russian military which would have been used in the production of tanks.

    Abramovich's spokesman has previously denied Evraz steel was used for the Russian military, saying it was meant for ‘rail and construction’.

  • Anthony Chapman

    Chelsea fans keeping the faith

    Chelsea Supporters’ Trust board member Dan Silver has no worries his beloved Chelsea will stop putting a team out.

    Silver, 48, a season-ticket holder, said: “We have to accept the Roman era is gone. The club will change hands eventually, we might be a different Chelsea.

    “Whether or not we keep out-of-contract players like Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen is one thing.

    “With reduced crowds, then it even comes down to whether stewards get paid on matchdays. I feel sorry for guys like that, but their situation is nothing compared to what people are enduring in Ukraine.

    “I hope to still be coming to games in 15 years. I don’t think for one minute that Chelsea will cease to exist.”

  • Anthony Chapman

    Breaking – Chelsea ‘struggling for cash’

    Chelsea will today beg the Government to ease sanctions on them amid fears the club could go bust in just SEVENTEEN DAYS.

    The Mail claims the club's current cash reserves will burn out in just over a fortnight due to the sanctions imposed on them.

    March 26 is currently the date the Blues are set to run out of dosh – which has prompted Chelsea chiefs to beg the Government to allow them to sell the club in a desperate bid to avoid going out of business.

    Chelsea's currently pay out a whopping £28million a month on wages for their star players, but recent accounts have shown the west Londoners currently only have £16m in the bank.

  • Anthony Chapman

    Tuchel off to Man Utd?

    Thomas Tuchel’s future at Chelsea is in doubt following UK sanctions against Roman Abramovich.

    But with the German a Champions League winner after just six months with the Blues, he will have plenty of suitors should he leave Stamford Bridge.

    Indeed, no less than FIVE clubs could be in for Tuchel this summer.


  • Anthony Chapman

    Piers wants Tuchel at Arsenal

    Gunners fan Piers Morgan has implored his side to sack Mikel Arteta.

    And he instead wants Arsenal to break the bank for Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel.

    Morgan tweeted: "Arsenal should break the bank for Thomas Tuchel. We won’t, but we should."

  • Anthony Chapman

    Blues ‘could go into administration’

    Experts say curbs against Roman Abramovich could yet plunge Chelsea into administration.

    Professor Ellis Cashmore, a sports and culture expert, said: "In sporting terms this is seismic. Chelsea probably has enough liquidity to make it through to the summer, and perhaps a bit beyond — but you can bet star players will be on the phone to their agents.

    "The revenue streams are being compromised and the cash will eventually run out. This is not a conventional business, it's been funded throughout by Abramovich."

  • Anthony Chapman

    Tuchel remains committed to Chelsea

    Blues boss Thomas Tuchel insists he is happy to stay at the club despite the latest chaos.

    Speaking after the 3-1 win at Norwich, he said: “I am still happy to be here and still happy to be manager of a strong team.

    "As long as we have enough shirts and a bus to drive to the games we will be there and will compete hard."

  • Anthony Chapman

    By SunSport reporter Martin Lipton

    Roman Abramovich has been given 81 DAYS to sell Chelsea — or risk the club folding.

    Chelsea face a £106million financial black hole — with shirt sponsors Three suspending their £40m-a-year contract, and £66m of Premier League and Uefa prize money set to be withheld.

    And the ‘licence’ that will allow the club to play on to the end of the season will NOT be renewed unless Abramovich, who valued the club at £3bn, agrees a sale and walks away without a penny.

    Chelsea have been told a deal must be agreed before the licence runs out on May 31 to guarantee the survival of the club.

  • Anthony Chapman

    How are Chelsea affected financially?

    The Blues made a loss of £145.6million last year and has been bankrolled by Abramovich to the tune of around £1.5billion since his sensational takeover in 2003. 

    In another hammer blow, Chelsea will be limited to spending £20,000 travel expenses per match.

    Their 28,000 season ticket holders will still be allowed to attend home games, but no new tickets can be sold — costing the club an estimated £600,000 per match.

    Within hours of the sanctions, mobile phone network Three said it was suspending its £40million-a-year shirt sponsorship deal.

    Car giant Hyundai said it was "assessing" its own multi-million shirt sleeve sponsorship contract.

  • Anthony Chapman

    Remind me what happened again?

    Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government as part of its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

    He was told the news by email at 9am, learning that the club he valued at £3billion and has been trying to sell quickly was, at a stroke, worthless to him.

    Whitehall sources warned he would not get a penny from any fire sale, leaving the club in limbo.

    Chelsea, with a £333million-a-year wage bill and around 1,000 staff, was granted a special licence until May 31 to carry on trading.

  • Anthony Chapman

    Chelsea fans fear for future

    Devastated Chelsea fans last night feared for the future of their club after it was rocked by sanctions.

    Distraught Hadley Smith, 20, from Romford, East London, said: "It's awful. I am shocked and upset. The fans will suffer and we don't deserve this. I'm gutted.

    "I fear the worst. I fear for the future. What if this is the end?"

    Plumber John Davidson, 56, from Basildon, Essex, said: "I'm Chelsea until I die. I'm so worried. We're fighting for survival."

  • Alex Terrell

    Skintski! Today's front page

    Here is The Sun's front page today – and it's all about Chelsea being crippled by the UK government due to Roman Abramovich's ownership.

    Chelsea could even go BUST if sponsors pull out and they can't sell tickets.

  • Jake Lambourne

    Chelsea in turmoil

    Chelsea's 3-1 win at Norwich last night barely registered as the Blues' future plunges further into doubt.

    Roman Abramovich's hopes of selling Chelsea quickly look uncertain after his assets – including the club itself – were frozen.

    And it's even been suggested the Blues need to find a buyer within 81 days or risk folding.

    Chelsea's financial streams have been dammed up and at the very least they face a summer of cutbacks plus no new signings.

    Only a special licence form the Government allows them to keep playing, pay staff and let CURRENT ticket-holders attend games.

    But after Mason Mount inspired Premier League victory at bottom side Norwich, manager Thomas Tuchel insisted his squad won't be distracted.

    He said: "I don’t know what is coming tomorrow.

    “Everybody can be very sure that we focus on us, to keep the attitude and the mentality right on the training ground and within the team.

    “As long as we have enough shirts and a bus to drive to the games we will be there and will compete hard.”

  • Ian Tuckey

    Mas appeal

    Mason Mount kissed the Chelsea badge on his shirt after scoring against Norwich.

    The Blues’ owner Roman Abramovich has had his assets frozen by the UK government due to his connections with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    The club is unable to sell home or away match tickets to their fans. There is also a ban on any transfers – incoming or outgoing. And new contracts cannot be handed out to any of the squad.

    Merchandise cannot be bought or sold and as a result the club shop at Stamford Bridge has been closed.

    But Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and his players had to put all of the chaos to one side to face Norwich in the Premier League just hours after the Abramovich news broke.

    Trevoh Chalobah got them off to a flyer at Carrow Road – heading in an early corner – before Mount gave his side a 2-0 lead after just 14 minutes.

    And in what seemed to be a defiant message, the England international grabbed the club’s crest on his shirt and kissed it as he ran off celebrating. That came after fans showed their support for Abramovich by chanting his name ahead of their game against Norwich.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Nike 'consider quitting £540m Chelsea kit deal'

    NIKE are considering walking away from their 15-year kit deal with Chelsea in a split that could cost the Blues £540MILLION, according to reports.

    The Blues have been plunged into crisis after owner Roman Abramovich had his assets frozen by the UK government amid links with Vladimir Putin.

    Chelsea have already seen shirt sponsors Three suspend their £120million partnership.

    And according to the Daily Mail, kit manufacturers Nike could follow suit.

    The two parties agreed a 15-year, £900m deal back in 2016 – but amid recent events Nike are claimed to be 'considering walking away'.

    This would cost the Blues a staggering £540m.

    Chelsea are already unable to receive Premier League or Champions League prize money amid Abramovich's sanctions. And they can't even sell tickets to their remaining home games.

    The Blues' megastore is currently closed for business as they are banned from flogging merchandise.

    Pat Nevin, who has a column in Chelsea's matchday programme, revealed on BBC 5Live earlier on Thursday that the Blues have already 'partially laid off' members of staff.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Tuchel: All we need is shirts and a bus

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists his squad will keep giving there all 'as long as we have enough shirts and a bus to drive to the games'

    The Blues face financial cutbacks at the very least and potentially far worse if club owner Roman Abramovich fails to sell up quickly.

    The Russian oligarch has had his assets frozen, including Chelsea, due to links with his country's leader Vladimir Putin amid the invasion of Ukraine.

    And after tonight's 3-1 Prem win at Norwich, Tuchel said: "Let's see if it stays like this. If it does, I don't know.

    "We take it day by day. I didn't see that coming yesterday and I don't know what is coming tomorrow.

    "Everybody can be very sure that we focus on us, to keep the attitude and the mentality right on the training ground and within the team.

    "So far we can trust each other and this will not change.

    "As long as we have enough shirts and a bus to drive to the games we will be there and will compete hard."

  • Ian Tuckey

    Blues sur-Mount problem of Roman ruin

    Chelsea's social media team hailed midfield masters Mason Mount and Kai Havertz after tonight's 3-1 win at Norwich.

    The Blues' playmakers cast aside fears over the club's future due to owner Roman Abramovich's assets being frozen.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Rest of the Chelsea ratings

    Kai Havertz – 7

    Looks very confident in recent matches and that continued again tonight. He was beating players and making some really good contributions with Mount and Werner. Like most Chelsea players though, his second half performance dipped.


    Ruben Loftus-Cheek for Azpilicueta (HT) – 6

    Some good moments on the ball and rarely gave it away, but uncomfortable as a wing-back, obviously.

    N'Golo Kante for Kovacic (85 mins) – N/A

    Romelu Lukaku for Werner (85 mins) – N/A

  • Ian Tuckey

    More Chelsea ratings

    Saul Niguez – 6

    He was doing the basics well and making sure he kept the ball, but he doesn't really bring much to the left wing-back role as it isn't natural for him at all. OK game though.

    Mason Mount – 8

    He was on fire in the first half and was absolutely everywhere, winning the ball back deep, creating in attack, tackling, making some very neat passes, and of course, took his goal superbly and linked up very well with Kai Havertz. Second half he dropped off a little against Norwich.

    Timo Werner – 5

    Some nice little touches and movements early on but didn't do a lot more. Once again his final pass, attacking contributions, and first touch was more than questionable.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Chelsea ratings continued

    Cesar Azpilicueta – 8

    Very hard night's work from the captain who was up and down that right flank a lot with energy. He was doing his best to provide a threat in attack as well but it was his work rate that was the standout. He went off at half time, must be injured.

    Jorginho – 6

    Couple mis-placed passes or slow passes at the back that could have put Chelsea in danger, but also some good through balls in attack for the Blues. Sometimes a little slow on the ball.

    Mateo Kovacic – 7

    Very quick and direct game from him, driving with the ball a lot and making things happen from deep as well as joining in attacks and arriving in the box. Worked hard and played with intensity.

  • Ian Tuckey

    Chelsea ratings at Norwich

    Edouard Mendy – 6

    Very quiet night for him really but he did have a couple of long-range efforts to save which he did well, and his distribution was good. Nothing he could do about the penalty.

    Trevoh Chalobah – 5

    Scored the opening goal with a great header and had a good first half. Unfortunately, he was very daft to stick his arm out in the box and give away a penalty, tarring his performance really. His second half was very poor.

    Thiago Silva – 8

    Once again, the calmest and most comfortable player on the pitch. Pure class on the ball and really does dictate everything at the back. On a couple of occasions, he gave the ball away but still looked class, says it all!

    Andreas Christensen – 6

    He was actually a little uncomfortable over as a left centre back being an unfamiliar position really for him. He was OK and didn't do a lot wrong bar a couple of mis-placed passes.

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