After Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government, Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick pointed out that Chelsea are not the “only club” in the Premier League with Russian owners in recent years. Chelsea is currently in crisis, with Abramovich’s future uncertain after sanctions were imposed on him on Thursday.
The Russian oligarch’s assets in the United Kingdom have been frozen, with the UK government believing Abramovich has had a “close relationship with Vladimir Putin for decades.”
Although Abramovich has always denied any ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the club’s future is now in jeopardy due to the sanctions imposed on him.
Chelsea has been granted a’special license’ to continue operating as usual, but fans are not permitted to purchase new tickets to games, and the club is also unable to sell merchandise due to the closure of the official Stamford Bridge shop on Thursday.
There’s also some uncertainty about what it means for Chelsea’s current players who are about to lose their contracts.
The Blues have been barred from re-signing Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, or Andreas Christensen.
They’re also effectively on a transfer embargo until May 31, which prevents them from buying or selling any players.
In the midst of the crisis, Thomas Tuchel has tried to remain positive, with the help of fellow managers Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp.
Rangnick, however, went one step further, claiming that Chelsea were not the only club with Russian owners in recent years.
“Could anyone have predicted what happened in the last four weeks?” Rangnick questioned.
“We have to be very careful about placing blame.
“Not only at Chelsea, but also at Arsenal and Everton, Russian oligarchs had ownership stakes.”
“They (Chelsea) weren’t the only ones.”
Alisher Usmanov, a Russian oligarch, has previously been linked with Arsenal and Everton.
In 2018, Usmanov parted ways with Arsenal, selling his shares for an estimated £550 million.
In January 2015, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri agreed to a deal with Russian billionaire Ruslan Usmanov’s holding company, USM, to take over the naming rights to Finch Farm.
Everton, on the other hand, announced earlier this month that they were cutting all ties with Usmanov as a result of EU sanctions labeling him a “pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
The sanctions imposed on Abramovich have raised serious doubts about Chelsea’s ability to stay afloat in the coming weeks.
Three has halted their £40 million shirt deal with the Blues, and Nike is reportedly considering pulling the plug as well.
Chelsea officials have held urgent talks with UK government officials, pleading for the club’s restrictions to be lifted.
Nick Candy, a British property tycoon, is still interested in buying the club, but it’s unclear how the sanctions will affect any deal Abramovich accepts.