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Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

Chelsea 'should be seized from Roman Abramovich as part of sanctions', MP says

Chelsea 'should be seized from Roman Abramovich as part of sanctions', MP says

Labour MP Chris Bryant has questioned whether Roman Abramovich can continue to own Chelsea Football Club and called for the seizure of his assets as part of sanctions against Russia.

The MP for the Rhondda says Abramovich, ‘admitted in court proceedings that he paid for political influence’ and has ‘links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity.’

Bryant told the House of Commons, via The Sun: ‘Following some of the reports in The Sun and other newspapers today.

Roman Abramovich with Vladimir Putin in 2016


‘I’ve got hold of a leaked document from 2019 from the Home Office, which says, in relation to Mr. Abramovich.

‘As part of HMGs Russia strategy, aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interests to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices.

‘An example of this is Abramovich admitting in court proceedings that he paid for political influence.

‘Therefore HMG is focused on ensuring individuals linked to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal including immigration powers to prevent this.

Roman Abramovich was recently in Abu Dhabi to watch Chelsea win their maiden Club World Cup title


‘That’s nearly three years ago, and yet remarkably little has been done in relation Surely Mr. Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country?

‘Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets, including his 152 million pound home? And making sure that other people who’ve had tier one visas like this are not engaged in malign activity in the UK.’

The Sun reported on Wednesday that Abramovich is ‘effectively barred’ from living in the UK with immigration officials ‘under clear instruction to work towards ensuring Mr Abramovich cannot base himself in the UK’.

The Chelsea owner withdrew an application for a UK Tier 1 investor visa in 2018 as he wants to be resident in the UK, but any application for a permanent visa is almost certain to be turned down.

Abramovich assumed control of Chelsea back in 2003 and has turned what was a largely underachieving club into a European footballing superpower.

Under his ownership, the West London club have spent nearly £2billion on transfer fees alone and outlay which has been rewarded with two Champions League titles, one Clup World Cup and six Premier League crowns.

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