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Not So 'Carefree' - How UK Sanctions On Russia Affect Chelsea Football Club

Stamford Bridge
Wednesday, 23 March 2022 By Gareth Hall, Christopher Dyke

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, the UK has imposed ‘sanctions’ on over 1000 entities and individuals, pursuant to the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations), issued under Section 1 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the 2018 Act).

In the UK, without doubt the most high profile of the individuals now listed on the UK’s sanctions list is the current owner of Chelsea Football Club (Chelsea FC), Roman Abramovich who since 10 March, has been subject to an asset freeze which is already having profound implications for the Premier League club which Mr Abramovich has owned since June 2003.

This article outlines some of the key legal concepts associated with the ’asset freeze’ elements of the sanctions imposed on Mr Abramovich and what they mean for Chelsea FC, its supporters and the football world as a whole. We also explore the unique way the UK government has chosen to mitigate the effect the sanctions have on the club’s ability to operate and what it means for the potential sale of the club.

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Written by

Gareth Hall

Gareth Hall

Gareth is an Associate at DAC Beachcroft specialising in financial crime, white collar criminal defence and investigations as well as the associated areas of bribery, money laundering and sanctions advisory work.

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Christopher Dyke

Christopher Dyke

Chris is a Partner at DAC Beachcroft specialising in fraud, white collar crime and regulatory litigation. He has extensive experience advising clients in a variety of sectors on a wide range of regulatory and criminal matters including investigations and prosecutions brought by the SFO, the FCA, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
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