Report: UK government's clear stance over Chelsea's plan to repay £1.6bn debt to Abramovich

Chelsea may not get approval for the club takeover from the UK government as the club plans to restructure sale terms to allow Roman Abramovich to be repaid of £1.6 billion debt, according to The Telegraph.

In early March, Abramovich announced his decision to sell Chelsea as he believed it was in the “best interest of the club”.

In the official statement, he also mentioned that he would not be asking for any loans to be repaid.

He was obviously referring to the reported £1.6bn loans he pumped into the club in the last two decades.

At the time, it made sense from a financial perspective as the club’s market value should take into account these investments in the first place.

However, shortly after, the UK government imposed sanctions on Abramovich and his assets, including Chelsea.

Photo by Michael Regan – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The Blues were granted a special licence to operate, but it does not include approval of a change of ownership.

For that, Chelsea will have to apply for another licence, which the government is open to under one specific condition.

“Proceeds from any sale could not go to the sanctioned individual while he is subject to sanctions,” the UK government stated.

Things have become more complicated recently.

Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The Telegraph claims that in an amended proposal mooted late last week, Chelsea’s parent company Fordstam Ltd would pay off loans to offshore Camberley International Investments, which is believed to be linked to Abramovich.

Several Whitehall insiders, however, told The Telegraph that it remains the ministers’ position that Chelsea will not get approval for the sale if the Russian-Israeli billionaire receives a penny.

As the current licence expires at the end of this month, the club is now under even more pressure to complete the sale.

Last week, culture secretary Nadine Dorries said that Chelsea are on “borrowed time” and that the club sale must be done “within weeks” (BBC).

The Telegraph mentioned that Whitehall sources raised concerns over a genuine “existential crisis” if the Chelsea sale is not completed by May 31.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.