Roman Abramovich’s attempt to sell Chelsea has been halted after the oligarch was sanctioned by the government of the United Kingdom as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian put the European champions up for sale after the threat of sanctions was raised in Parliament.
The freezing of Abramovich’s assets, which include Chelsea, means the club cannot sell further match tickets.
The move is intended to stop Abramovich from making money from Chelsea.
The government has issued a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket-holders to attend matches.
Season-ticket holders can still attend games for which they have tickets but the club cannot now sell any more tickets.
Chelsea will also be unable to buy or sell players, or offer new contracts, while the sanctions are imposed on Abramovich. Chelsea’s owned players who are on loan at other clubs will be able to continue to play for those clubs.
The London club’s merchandise shop has also been shut.
The government is open to considering a further addition to the special licence which will allow the sale of the club.
A condition for that to happen would be that Abramovich – one of Russia’s richest people who is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin – receives no funds.
He has previously said that proceeds of any sale would be donated to victims of war.