Chelsea Football Club – What Happens Next?
There has been much going on in the world recently, affecting everything including sports. The most recent huge blow in the sporting world is the story of Chelsea Football Club – and the question marks hanging over the head of one of the biggest football clubs in the world and the current UEFA Champions League champions. Chelsea fans and football betting fans all across the world simply don’t know what will happen now – and even the staff and players are probably unsure of the future. Could the decline of Chelsea be as sudden as its rise?
THE NAME THAT CHANGED THEIR GAME
The English Premier League had never witnessed anything like Abramovich, when he bought his way into the biggest footballing competition in the world in July 2003 by purchasing Chelsea FC. His takeover affected everything – and his presence at the top continues to have a major effect on the club.
The Russian-Israeli oligarch bought the blues from businessmen and Chelsea fans, Ken Bates and Matthew Harding.
Bates originally bought the club in 1982 for just £1. He bought a controlling stake in Chelsea, floating them on the AIM Stock Exchange in March 1996. This was when Harding made an appearance. He was installed as the Director of Chelsea and loaned the club £26 million for investments.
In 2003, Abramovich first bought just over half of Chelsea Village PLC’s share, which included Bates’ 29.5% stake. Over the next few weeks, he then bought out most of the other 12,000 club shareholders.
In total, he spent around £140 million. Ever since then, this has been a club transformed. His spending has now set the bar for how much other EPL clubs would need to spend in order to compete for the best players and top league spots.
Ever since buying the club, the Russian billionaire has loaned the club over £1.5 billion and overseen some of its greatest success. Since he took over, the team has won five Premier Leagues, five FA Cups, three League Cups, two Europa Leagues and two UEFA Champions League titles. After holding aloft the UEFA Super Cup and World Cup recently, they have now won every single title available to a Premier League club.
So, now that it appears Abramovich is on the way out, Chelsea fans and football fans are certainly wondering what happens next…
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Abramovich has recently been sanctioned by the British Government along with other Russian billionaires. This includes penalties such as the freezing of British owned assets – including Chelsea FC. The government said that Abramovich had enjoyed a close relationship with Putin for decades and had enough of a link to undergo sanctions.
As well as having his assets frozen, he will also be unable to make transactions with UK businesses and individuals in the UK and won’t be able to enter the UK anymore. But what does this mean?
WILL CHELSEA GO BUST?
Although specifics around the sanctions are still under review, as it stands, Chelsea can no longer sell tickets or merchandise for now. It has also been slapped with a £500,000 spending cap on security, catering and stewarding at home games. Just before these sanctions were put into place, Abramovich had put the club up for sale, but these new sanctions make the next steps for the club very uncertain – and it is still unclear how the club will fund itself whilst everything plays out.
The UK Government has stated that the licence would be kept ‘under constant review’ – and that they would want the club to keep on functioning. But how? Although it’s very early to talk of the team going into administration, this is always going to be a concern.
CAN ABRAMOVICH SELL CHELSEA?
Although this was the original plan, there is now a licence that prevents him from selling the club. However, the spokespersons of Downing Street have said that they are open to the idea of a sale, but there would need to be many more conversations around this. Abramovich did state that the proceeds of the sale would go towards the Ukrainian victims of the war.
CHELSEA SEASON TICKET HOLDERS
There are approximately 28,000 Chelsea season ticket holders – who all have access to regular-season home games with no extra charges. However, the capacity of the Chelsea home stadium, Stamford Bridge, is just under 42,000 – which would mean attendance would be much depleted. Although fans that have already purchased tickets will still be able to attend, no further sales will be permitted.
Abramovic bought the club for a face value of £60 million, although much more was spent – taking the overall sum to around £140 million. Since then, he has spent around £1.5 billion and will want to get a lot of that money back. Back in April 2021, it was reported by Forbes that the club had been valued at approximately £2.4 billion ($3.2 billion) – but this was before they won the Champions League that year.
However, Chelsea is worth far more than that to its fans – it is priceless. There will be football and sports betting fans hoping that this means one less team to worry about, whilst others are praying that the club survives. Whatever happens, this is certainly going to be a tough time for the team.