The Premier League board has Saturday announced it has disqualified Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich as a director at the English top-flight club.
The move comes after the billionaire Russian had sanctions slapped on him by the British government after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement the Premier League said; “Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK Government, the Premier League Board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as a Director of Chelsea Football Club.”
“The Board’s decision does not impact on the club’s ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a licence issued by the Government which expires on 31 May 2022.”
After realizing that he was being scrutinized by the UK, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,Abramovich, announced he was selling the club.
However, the sale has since been put on hold with Chelsea operating under a special government licence.
The reigning European champions were allowed to continue playing games and pay their players and staff but as per the current license terms,they can’t transfer players in or out as the government tries to prevent Abramovich from benefiting in any way.
Abramovich took over Chelsea in 2003 in what was reported as a 140 million pounds ($182.5 million) deal. The investment resulted in the most successful era in their history as they won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.
Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” designed not to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.
The United Kingdom government has consistently described Abramovich as “a prominent Russian businessman and pro-Kremlin oligarch” who had enjoyed “a close relationship for decades” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has however denied having any links to the Moscow leadership.