Chelsea’s bank account has been temporarily suspended by Barclays in the wake of Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government.
The reason behind the suspension is that the bank requires time to assess the licence Chelsea have been given to continue football-related activities.
Chelsea are hopeful the suspension will be lifted shortly.
Chelsea’s company credit cards have also temporarily been suspended.
The UK government on Thursday gave Chelsea a licence to continue with football-related activities after Abramovich had “his assets frozen, a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses, a travel ban and transport sanctions” imposed on him.
The sanctions are intended to stop the 55-year-old from making any money in the UK, but the government has granted Chelsea a special licence to allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches.
However, Chelsea cannot offer new contracts to players or staff, conduct any transfer business or sell new tickets to matches as things stand.
Chelsea are scheduled to play Newcastle United, live on Sky Sports, on Sunday.
What does this mean for Chelsea?
Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol:
“Barclays suspending Chelsea’s bank account is going to have serious, serious repercussions for the club.
“The issue Barclays have got is that the bank account is in the name of Chelsea but the owner is still Roman Abramovich, who has been sanctioned by the UK Government.
“Nobody in the UK is allowed to do any business with Abramovich. Chelsea have a special licence to carry on their football-related activities but Barclays have to be sure they are comfortable taking the risk of carrying on providing banking services to Chelsea. Most banks are very risk-averse.
“They do not want to do business with people that have been sanctioned by a government. Just because the UK Government say Chelsea can continue to carry on and play games it doesn’t mean Barclays are going to be comfortable with that arrangement. It’s well within their rights to withdraw banking services completely. But this is a temporary suspension and Chelsea are hopeful the suspension will be lifted shortly.
“The bank will want to be sure that Chelsea are spending the money on what the government have allowed them to.”
Tuchel exclusive: It’s hard to focus on football
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has told Sky Sports it is “hard to focus only on football” amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and feels “very privileged” to be a Premier League coach.
In an interview with Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves ahead of his side’s Super Sunday clash with Newcastle, the German was asked what he has had time to reflect on in challenging circumstances.
“Maybe it has never been more true to live in the moment because everything else seems very, very difficult,” he said.
“To understand the situation feels very difficult, to see where it is going is maybe impossible. So in the end we stick to the mantra to live in the moment and worship where we are.
“It is not easy, but it is out of our control. Sometimes it makes things more difficult, but sometimes more easy to accept we cannot do anything in the moment, to wait and to constantly adapt.”
Klopp: I feel for Tuchel and Chelsea’s players
Speaking earlier on Friday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp backed the government’s decision to sanction Abramovich, but admitted he felt sorry for the club and Tuchel.
“Thomas and I know each other but we are not that close that we chat,” he said. “Around the games, yes, but not in other moments.
“Of course I feel for him and the players and all the employees at Chelsea because it’s obviously not a [nice] situation.
“It’s nothing they are responsible for, what happens around. There is one man who is really responsible and that’s Vladimir Putin.
“I don’t know about Roman Abramovich’s role in all these kind of things. But over the years you could guess that maybe he is pretty close.
“I think what the British government did is right, to be 100 per cent honest. But it is still not cool for the people at Chelsea and the supporters. I get that.
“But I think the things the government did are right.”
Source : Sky Sports