Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich yesterday handed over the management of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation. However, the trustee has what could be considered a multi-billion dollar insurance policy should the UK come after its assets: Chelsea itself.
According to Forbes, the Blues owe Roman Abramovich $2 billion. Kieran Maguire, professor of football finance at the University of Liverpool, said the Russians’ move could create a dramatic backdrop for the club.
“If he [Roman Abramovich] He wants to recover, he can ask for the reimbursement of the money he invested in Chelsea. That means Chelsea will go bankrupt and Putin can say, “Okay, I started,” Kieran said.
Forbes claims that Abramovich loaned Chelsea $26m last season – even with the Champions League title scores unsettled.
“The club can’t afford to return the money. If Chelsea are sold, you sell them for the value of the business. Whether that money goes in the form of shares or debt doesn’t matter. But the club risks being in prison for this. [Abramovich] Money may be requested. After that, the club could cease to exist.
Sports economist Kenneth Kurzen has told Forbes that the situation with the Russian billionaire raises a wider question in the Premier League about who can join the ranks of club owners.
Russia has already suffered some sanctions in the world of sport. Schalke 04, a traditional German club, has removed the logo and branding of Russian energy giant Gazprom from its shirt. Manchester United have broken sponsorship deal with Russia’s biggest airline, Aeroflot. Additionally, UEFA moved this year’s Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris.
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