Chelsea could be nationalised and run by culture secretary Nadine Dorries

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The ownership of Chelsea has been cast into major doubt after a statement by Russian owner Roman Abramovich yesterday.

The Blues have also condemned the situation in Ukraine at the moment, though officially nothing has yet changed at Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich is still the owner of the club, even if he has made the somewhat symbolic gesture of handing over the day-to-day running of the club to a board of trustees.

According to The Athletic, Abramovich could still end up having to quit as Chelsea owner, if he ends up being sanctioned by the UK government.

This could lead to a slightly complicated situation, however, with CFC potentially then facing bankruptcy.

If that were to happen, the government may well decide to step in and protect one of the country’s most successful sporting institutions.

This could mean Chelsea are effectively nationalised and put under the control of culture secretary Nadine Dorries.

See below for The Athletic’s full explanation of what could happen if Abramovich is sanctioned:

“There are some — who may or may not have just spoken to the club — who believe that if the unthinkable happens and Abramovich is sanctioned, Chelsea will be completely fine.

“That is because a) they are a UK-registered company that has nothing to do with Russia b) they are a business that earned more than £400 million last season, with cash in the bank and more coming in every month from broadcasters, commercial partners and the turnstiles and c) they are now run by a charity. So what on earth could go wrong?

“But then there are others — who may or may not have studied the UK’s sanctions laws — who wonder how a company wholly owned by a sanctioned individual could possibly function. They point out, for example, that the company’s British bank accounts would be frozen, which means no money in or out, and no British firm would be able to do business with the club. How does a football club without access to a bank account pay its staff or bills?

Chelsea are current world champions

“That then begs the question: would the British government really let one of this country’s most successful and popular football clubs go bankrupt?

“It almost certainly would not want to let that happen. But then what is the point of sanctioning Abramovich, or anyone else who happens to own something British people care about, if you do not actually mean it?

“So, maybe the shares could be transferred to the foundation so its trustees can run an orderly sales process. Perhaps the company could be placed in a form of administration to expedite a sale. Maybe it is temporarily nationalised and run by Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary.

“Because here is the thing, the UK’s sanctions laws are pretty new and they have never had to deal with an individual like Abramovich or an asset like Chelsea before.

“If Abramovich is sanctioned, nobody can be sure of anything, which is how Ukrainians must feel now that Russia has invaded.”

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