Severe financial restrictions have been slapped on Chelsea Football Club this week after its billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government. The Russian oligarch was punished over his close ties to President Vladimir Putin, who ordered Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine two weeks ago. Fans attending Chelsea’s game against Newcastle United today voiced their fury at the punishment the club faces.
One fan, Chris, questioned why fans “have to suffer when it’s nothing to do with us”.
The Blues are unable to sell match tickets or merchandise and are effectively under a transfer ban following the sanctions.
The club are even unable to sell matchday programmes, with the only ones available to those in the press area, hospitality and those who have already paid a subscription.
Chris told LBC: “What does it have to do with Chelsea Football Club? Okay, Roman Abramovich is some old rich Russian. But we are supporters.
“I have been coming here for 55 years. Why should we have to suffer for something that has nothing to do with us?”
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He continued: “We all feel bad for the Ukrainian people, of course we do, but why should we have to suffer when it’s nothing to do with us?”
“All of a sudden they are shutting our club down, and we can’t go and watch other games.
“I’ve been coming here for 55 years and now I can’t even bring my grandchildren all of sudden.
“I think it’s absolutely digesting. That is all I have to say and god bless to the Ukrainian people.”
One fan at the game showed off a sign which read: “Don’t use Chelsea for your bulls*** politics. Forever Chelsea.”
Another fan Peter Higgs, who has supported Chelsea for 63 of his 68 years, said: “It’s very difficult because obviously, you’re against the war in Ukraine.
“But the amount of good Roman has done, not only for the club but also for the area,” means you have different feelings.”
The asset freeze has left the Russian’s prospective sale of the club in limbo.
The Premier League has also disqualified Mr Abramovich as a director of the club.