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PHOTOS: Abramovich Barely Recognisable As He’s Spotted For The First Time Since UK Sanction

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been spotted for the first time since he was sanctioned by the British Government at an airport in Israel on Monday, March 14, 2022.

The 55-year-old was seen in a VIP lounge at Ben Gurion airport, located in the city of Lod which is southeast of Tel Aviv, shortly before a private jet linked to him was flown to Istanbul and landed in the Turkish city on Monday afternoon.

Last week, the Government announced that Abramovich’s assets in the UK have been frozen as part of its sanctions against Russia and those with ties to Vladimir Putin.

In its statement announcing Abramovich’s sanction, the Government described Chelsea’s owner as a ‘pro-Kremlin oligarch’ and claimed he ‘has had a close relationship for decades’ with Putin.

The European Union is also set to add Abramovich to its list of sanctioned Russian billionaires.

Abramovich has already sought to protect some of his key assets, including his £430 million yacht, Solaris, which was moved from Spain and docked in Montenegro, which is outside the EU, over the weekend.

Roman Abramovich sits in a VIP lounge at Ben Gurion international airport in Lod near Tel Aviv (Reuters)

Abramovich had attempted to sell Chelsea earlier this month but the Government’s sanction means that he will no longer receive any money from the transaction.

In his last statement before he was sanctioned, Abramovich said: ‘In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.

‘The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and club.

Roman Abramovich will no longer receive any money if Chelsea’s sale goes ahead (Reuters)

‘Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine.’

Abramovich had initially demanded a £3 billion fee for Chelsea, with several interested parties quickly registering their interest.

It’s understood that a consortium spearheaded by US billionaire Todd Boehly and the British property tycoon Jonathan Goldstein is the frontrunner to buy the club.

The US merchant bank, The Raine Group, has been tasked with selling Chelsea and has set a deadline to receive bids by this Friday.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are operating on a special licence from the Government after Abramovich’s assets were frozen.

The club are currently unable to sell tickets or merchandise and are prevented from signing any players.

Chelsea are now waiting on the Government to grant a second licence which would allow the sale of the club to go through.

‘I have to admit, we go day by day,’ Chelsea’s technical adviser, Petr Cech, said on Sunday.

Source: Metro

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