Government have received legal guarantees that Roman Abramovich will not benefit from the £4.25bn sale of Chelsea; money will be held in a frozen bank account; deal will bring Abramovich's 19-year ownership of Chelsea to an end
Tuesday 24 May 2022 19:14, UK
The government is expected to approve the Todd Boehly-led consortium takeover of Chelsea in the next week.
They have now received legal guarantees that Roman Abramovich will not benefit from the sale of Chelsea meaning that they can approve the £4.25bn deal.
Sky Sports News understands that the proceeds of the sale are going into a frozen bank account controlled by the government.
Abramovich is also sanctioned by the European Union and, as he has a Portuguese passport, the sale has to be approved by the Portuguese authorities.
UK officials continue intense discussions with both the European Commission and their Portuguese counterparts in an effort to complete the sale of Chelsea as quickly as possible, yet the complexity and bureaucratic nature of the deal mean the process could slow down.
"We are working closely with Chelsea to progress the sale," said the Prime Minister's official spokesman. "We are holding intense discussions with the relevant international partners to get the necessary approvals.
"We want to get this process done as soon as possible while also ensuring the sanctions regime is protected, but we will say more on this as soon as we possibly can."
The deal will bring an end to Abramovich's 19-year ownership of Chelsea, in which the club has won 21 trophies including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team, and fellow consortium member Hansjörg Wyss were at Stamford Bridge for Sunday's final 2-1 win over Watford.
The news will be a boost for Thomas Tuchel's side as they have been unable to buy or sell players or negotiate new contracts with players due to the restrictions imposed on Abramovich over his alleged links to Vladimir Putin's Russia.
Antonio Rudiger is joining Real Madrid on a free transfer and Andreas Christensen, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso have all been linked with Barcelona.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Abramovich was then part of a delegation trying to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine and suffered 'symptoms of suspected chemical weapons poisoning' during the talks.
The UK government sanctioned the oligarch on March 10 but granted Chelsea a special licence - which expires on May 31 - to keep operating.
Talks over the sale have dragged on in recent weeks, with Abramovich having to deny reports that he wanted the £1.5bn he loaned to Chelsea repaid before he would sanction a sale.