LONDON (AP) — The decision to sanction Roman Abramovich and freeze his assets has left Chelsea to continue playing only with the approval of the British government under special conditions.
The 55-year-old Abramovich is among seven wealthy Russians punished by Boris Johnson’s administration on Thursday over their close links to the Kremlin, with Russia’s war on Ukraine heading into a third week.
There has been a hell of a lot written about Roman Abramovich and the sanctions he has been put under by the UK Government, as officially announced yesterday.
“By holding Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea FC hostage, Britain settles for whacking a lesser villain,” writes Cathal Kelly.
“Mr. Abramovich was buying complicity as well as trophies. As long as he kept the sports tabs busy, no one wanted to look too deeply into where his money came from or who’d been run over in the getting of it.
“People knew on some basic level that Mr. Abramovich was probably a bad guy in business with some much worse guys. It was no secret that he was a great favourite of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But that just added to the SPECTRE feel of the whole set-up.
“So for 20 years, Mr. Abramovich didn’t have to bother deceiving anyone. They deceived themselves.
“Nobody wanted to investigate that too closely until the tanks started rolling. The team is now a financial hostage of the British government.
“Punishing Mr. Abramovich makes Britain look tough on Russia without having to go to the trouble of doing anything to Russia;
“Unable to take out the villain who is its real target, Britain whacks a lesser villain instead (but hey, good enough for Guy Ritchie);
“And it warns anyone else looking to pull the same trick – you can buy it, but whether you keep it is up to us.”
These are absolutely fantastic points and makes you really wonder, why on earth is nobody else asking these questions?
If Abramovich has been funding Putin for so many years, why wait for a war to start to sanction him? And others?