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Chelsea say Abramovich sanctions a factor in losses

Chelsea say government sanctions imposed on former owner Roman Abramovich were a factor in the club’s losses of £121.3 million ($148.8 million) for the 2021/22 season.

Russian billionaire Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government in March last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He was described by ministers as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Chelsea were placed under a special licence that restricted their ability to sell tickets, accept event bookings and even sign contracts with players.

The restrictions remained in place until May 30 last year when a new consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly completed its takeover of the club.

Chelsea said in a statement on Monday that turnover had increased to £481.3 million from £434.9 million the previous year despite the sanctions. Commercial revenue increased to £177.1 million.

The financial results do not cover Chelsea’s acquisitions in the past two transfer windows, when they are reported to have spent around £600 million on new players.

The 2021/22 results show £118 million was invested in the playing squad, including existing player contract renegotiations, but a profit of £123 million was made on player sales including Tammy Abraham, Marc Guehi, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma.

Chelsea said they continued to comply with UEFA and Premier League financial regulations despite the losses and the impact of the sanctions.

The club said the impact of the sanctions on financial results would also be felt “in the following years”.

Chelsea are currently 10th in the Premier League table after a recent uptick in form under manager Graham Potter.

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