Chelsea are in crisis but there is no will to leave club on their knees | David Hytner

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Premier League and UK government do not want sanctions on Roman Abramovich to destroy club but swift sale is required

Everybody knew the sanctions were coming; they had been inevitable, according to UK government sources. Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, was in their crosshairs because of his links to Vladimir Putin, which had moved beyond the pale after Russia’s senseless invasion of Ukraine. Abramovich himself knew they were coming. Hence his decision to try to sell his UK assets, including Chelsea.

But when they did arrive at 9am on Thursday, they were still able to blindside the Chelsea hierarchy. On Wednesday, they had certainly not anticipated the imposition of them the following morning. The club entered a state of shock. So many questions, so few answers. Some of the players were concerned about what the future held for them – given that one of the measures involved Chelsea not being able to operate in the transfer market or offer new contracts. Ditto many members of staff. What did it all mean?

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Written by David Hytner
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