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Live Reporting

Harry De Cosemo, Tom Mallows and Luke Reddy

All times stated are UK

  1. Abramovich sanctions - Round-up

    Chelsea and Roman Abramovich

    Well, that's it for our dedicated coverage on Chelsea and Roman Abramovich. There will be more news and updates on our football section. Here's a round-up of some key points:

    • Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK government.
    • Abramovich assets frozen and sale of Premier League club halted for time being although Chelsea can operate under special licence..
    • Chelsea club shop must close, no more match tickets can be sold.
    • Fans who bought season tickets or individual match tickets before today can attend games.
    • Club can fulfil fixtures and pay wages of all employees, including players and coaching staff.
    • No new player sales or purchases will be permitted under the licence, and discussions on new deals for players who are out of contract in the summer - such as men's team captain Cesar Azpilicueta - must go on hold
    • Chelsea can pay "reasonable" costs of travel to and from fixtures but not exceeding £20,000 per game per team.
    • Pay "reasonable" costs towards hosting home fixtures, not exceeding £500,000 per fixture per team.
    • Broadcasters can broadcast any fixture involving the club.

    READ MORE on the Abramovich sanctions here

  2. Chelsea's trophy haul under Abramovich

    Under Abramovich's ownership, the club have won every major trophy possible - including the Champions League twice, both the Premier League and FA Cup five times, the Europa League twice and the League Cup three times.

    In February, they won their first Club World Cup.

    They have also won the Women's Super League title four times, the Women's FA Cup on three occasions and picked up the Women's League Cup twice in the past eight years.

  3. The panic station...

    Pat Nevin

    Former Chelsea winger on BBC World Football Podcast

    The vast majority of big-name players will not be overly concerned. They will get a contract somewhere else if the club cannot continue to pay them what they pay them. They'll be disappointed but are they shaking in their boots? No.

    They may lose players who will be out of contract this summer. Players will panic the day the wages don't arrive in the account.

    We will see if that happens.

  4. 'A dangerous future'

    Pat Nevin

    Former Chelsea winger on BBC World Football podcast

    Once you start digging down into what this could do - yes they can play their games but will they even be able?

    It's not hyperbole to say the future of the club is in serious danger.

    You are in different circumstances now. Sanctions can mean a few things and be updated by the government of the day. people who tell you they know exactly what will happen, don't believe them, because they don't know.

    I can't say 'everything will be ok'. There is a valuable asset there long term. It would be stupid for the government to drive it into administration or liquidation. That doesn't make any sense.

    I've listened to Chelsea fans online. It's ranged from people railing saying it's the end of their world to 'hey wasn't it a great ride'.

    I think the club will survive. Will it look the same after all this is over, no I don't think that will be the case.

  5. Chelsea's next five fixtures

    Chelsea's men's team travel to Norwich tonight, kick off at Carrow Road is at 19:30 GMT. They also travel to Lille for the Champions League last 16 second leg next week (all times GMT).

    • Norwich v Chelsea (19:30)
    • Chelsea v Newcastle (Sunday, 14:00)
    • Lille v Chelsea (16 March, 20:00)
    • Middlesbrough v Chelsea (19 March, 17:15)
    • Chelsea v Brentford (2 April, 15:00)

    Chelsea Women are also in action this evening. They travel to West Ham in the WSL with kick off at 19:45. They also take on Birmingham in the Women's FA Cup quarter-final later this month.

    • West Ham v Chelsea (19:45)
    • Chelsea v Aston Villa (Sunday, 13:00)
    • Everton v Chelsea (16 March, 19:00)
    • Chelsea v Birmingham (20 March, 14:00)
    • Chelsea v Tottenham (23 March, 19:45)
  6. One last job...

    Pat Nevin

    Former Chelsea winger on BBC World Football Podcast

    You can have a full recovery. Say if you sell it to another businessman or conglomerate, that's fine. If they get lucky they could co on very well.

    I wrote a piece for the Chelsea website last week saying Abramovich has one more job to do, sell the club. He shouldn't sell it to the biggest offer but the best offer, to the right people.

    The website didn't cut any of it. It all went through but that sticks with you, it is going to have to be sold, whether by Abramovich or anyone else. The temptation will be to sell it to the biggest bidder if it is government owned within these sanctions.

    As a Chelsea fan you want it sold to someone you can trust to take it forward.

  7. 'Unchartered water'

    Pat Nevin

    Former Chelsea winger on BBC World Football Podcast

    It is quite shocking for any Chelsea fan out there, all around the world. We are in unchartered water.

    The usual caveat - it's only football and what is happening in Ukraine is more important.

    But the football side, what will happen to the club now? No one knows. I can tell you something, it's very serious.

    I heard someone say recently the wage bill is £28m a week. Where will you get that if you can't trade? If this carries on for a period of time, it's strange looking to see how the club is viable in its current form.

    It's minute-to-minute and I can promise you now, that club doesn't know what is going to happen today, tomorrow or in a couple of days time.

  8. Chelsea's season so far

    Chelsea

    Chelsea began the season as one of the favourites for the Premier League, but currently find themselves in third place 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, albeit with games in hand.

    They have already lifted two trophies this season, though. A 1-0 victory over Brazilian side Palmeiras last month secured the Club World Cup and meant the Blues have now won every possible trophy under the ownership of Roman Abramovich. They won the Uefa Super Cup in August.

    The London club missed out on another trophy a fortnight ago when they suffered a penalty shootout defeat to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

    Thomas Tuchel's side hold a 2-0 lead over Lille going into their last 16 second leg in France next week. They then take on Championship side Middlesbrough in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on 19 March.

    Top six of the Premier League
  9. Chelsea remain of interest to buyers

    Alistair Magowan

    BBC Sport

    Buying Chelsea is still of interest to more than 10 parties despite owner Roman Abramovich being sanctioned.

    It is understood that although the news took many investors by surprise and there is confusion about what happens next, there is still plenty of desire to purchase the club.

    There is also confusion from those close to negotiations about the potential of a future Chelsea sale where none of the proceeds go to the Russian billionaire.

    The UK government is open to considering a further addition to the special licence to allow a sale to proceed.

    Those working on the deal on behalf of Abramovich were always told that proceeds from the sale would go to a war fund for victims of the war in Ukraine.

    This was made clear when Abramovich put the club up for sale last week. It is understood that the £1.5bn loan from Abramovich will not be deducted from the price.

    Abramovich had instructed American investment firm Raine Group to seek £3bn for the club, but finance experts believe that an already inflated price could drop further given the current uncertainty around Chelsea.

  10. What are Chelsea saying?

    In case you missed it earlier, this is what Chelsea have said after the UK government announced sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich:

    Chelsea Football Club has been advised that its owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government.

    By virtue of his 100 per cent ownership of Chelsea FC plc and affiliated entities, Chelsea FC would normally be subject to the same sanctions regime as Mr Abramovich. However, the UK Government has issued a general licence that permits Chelsea FC to continue certain activities. We will fulfil our men’s and women’s team fixtures today against Norwich and West Ham, respectively, and intend to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence.

    This will include seeking permission for the licence to be amended in order to allow the club to operate as normal as possible. We will also be seeking guidance from the UK Government on the impact of these measures on the Chelsea Foundation and its important work in our communities. The club will update further when it is appropriate.

    Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground
    Image caption: Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground
  11. Middlesbrough v Chelsea tickets not on sale

    Chelsea announced that tickets will not go on sale for the FA Cup game at Middlesbrough next week, as expected.

    Under the terms of the licence, no new tickets can be bought. Season ticket holders can attend home matches.

  12. 'You can't deny Abramovich's success'

    Crystal Palace

    Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira has been speaking ahead of his side's clash with Manchester City on Monday. He was asked about Chelsea, Roman Abramovich and his on-loan midfielder Conor Gallager.

    "Like everyone else. I don’t know if it’s surprising or not. Obviously the shock, what will be the consequences be? I don’t know. I don’t want to go into detail or comment more as I don’t know much more about it.

    "Something you can’t take away is the impact on the Premier League and the success [Abramovich] had with Chelsea."

    On Gallagher: "We didn’t talk about it at all. His focus is to finish the season well and finish as well as he started. We spoke this morning about the tactical approach and the game we have on Monday. We always said we will sit down at the end of the season with Chelsea and Conor and see what will be next."

  13. Managers need to be experts - Guardiola

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    In the wake of the sanctions taken by the Government against Roman Abramovich, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is bound to be asked about non-football matters at Carrow Road tonight.

    Pep Guardiola was in the same situation with Manchester City and its Financial Fair Play issues and has also spoken about Catalan indepedence in the past, in addition to the coronavirus outbreak and the invasion of Ukraine.

    He acknowledges managers have to cover a wide range of topics and need to understand their clubs.

    "During COVID-19 we are asked to talk like doctors," he said.

    "We are the face of the club, we are here every three days and you ask whatever you want, talking about subjects we don’t know and we don’t have an hour to have a lesson.

    "I can talk about my club, but it’s difficult talking about other situations, like the one at Chelsea. I can’t be in the position at Chelsea, it must be uncomfortable."

  14. Pep - 'Uncomfortable' for Tuchel

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has just done his press conference looking ahead to his side's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace on Monday.

    Naturally, he was asked about Chelsea. Guardiola said he didn't feel as though he had enough information to offer an opinion.

    However, he does feel some sympathy for Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.

    "It is a difficult position for Thomas Tuchel and the players," said Guardiola. "It’s uncomfortable."

  15. Abramovich sanctions - Round-up

    Chelsea and Roman Abramovich

    Here's a round-up of some key points:

    • Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK government.
    • Abramovich assets frozen and sale of Premier League club halted for time being although Chelse can operate under special licence..
    • Chelsea club shop must close, no more match tickets can be sold.
    • Fans who bought season tickets or individual match tickets before today can attend games.
    • Club can fulfil fixtures and pay wages of all employees, including players and coaching staff.
    • No new player sales or purchases will be permitted under the licence, and discussions on new deals for players who are out of contract in the summer - such as men's team captain Cesar Azpilicueta - must go on hold
    • Chelsea can pay "reasonable" costs of travel to and from fixtures but not exceeding £20,000 per game per team.
    • Pay "reasonable" costs towards hosting home fixtures, not exceeding £500,000 per fixture per team.
    • Broadcasters can broadcast any fixture involving the club.

    READ MORE on the Abramovich sanctions here

  16. Chelsea seeking licence amendments

    Laura Scott

    BBC Sport senior news reporter

    BBC Sport understands Chelsea feel there are a number of sticking points in the licence, and the club will be seeking a number of amendments to allow it to continue operating normally.

    It’s understood these relate to the £20k travel costs and £500k home match hosting costs.

    The club is still working out what the ramifications of the licence will be.

  17. Labour on Abramovich

    Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Culture Secretary, commenting on the implications for Chelsea FC and English football of sanctioning Roman Abramovich, said:

    “We’ve long called for tough sanctions on those linked to the Putin regime including Abramovich. Football clubs are vital cultural and community assets and this will clearly have a huge impact on Chelsea. The government must set out how it is working with the Premier League to protect the future of the club.

    “The government needs to bring forward the recommendations in the fan led review of football, including the fit and proper persons test, so fans and communities can have confidence that the game isn't just a toy for oligarchs.”

  18. Brentford v Chelsea ticket sales halted

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    Brentford have halted sales of tickets for their Premier League away game at Chelsea on 2 April.

    The Bees have been allocated 3,000 tickets for the match at Stamford Bridge.

    They have already sold a first batch of tickets and a further number were due to go back on sale at 14:00 GMT today.

    However, given the uncertainty around the sales process now Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned, Brentford are seeking clarification about the selling the remainder.

    Brentford say they have a contractual commitment to sell all 3,000 tickets and ‘will do everything in our power’ to make sure they are distributed.

  19. Special licence could allow Chelsea sale

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed the government could alter the terms of the licence to allow Chelsea to be sold.

    "So we could apply for a special licence for Chelsea to be sold, but Roman Abramovich cannot benefit from the proceeds of that sale," she said.

    Asked how long the sanctions could last, Dorries added: "That I can’t answer.”

  20. 'Abramovich’s actions have consequences'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Here is more from Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries on how the government has attempted to sanction Roman Abramovich while still protecting English football.

    “If it sells tickets and it sells merchandise, Abramovich who owns the club, will benefit. That can’t happen. Our focus was on protecting the club and the national game, and the fans, that was our focus and we think we’ve done that by the licence measures that we’ve put in place.”

    Asked about the negative impact the sanctions could have on Chelsea's revenues, Dorries added: “Well sanctions have consequences and that’s a fact.

    “Abramovich has links to Putin who is mounting a barbaric and evil attack against the people of Ukraine. This government, we in this department, stand with the people of Ukraine.

    "As I’ve said, I’m afraid sanctions have consequences. Abramovich’s actions have consequences too.”