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UK government approves sale of Chelsea FC

The British government issued a licence last night that permits the sale of football club Chelsea,minister Nadine Dorries said on Wednesday.

Current owner Roman Abramovich is subject to sanctions by the British government. He put the London club up for sale in early March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

“We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals,” Dorries said on Twitter.

“Given the sanctions we placed on those linked to Putin and the bloody invasion of Ukraine, the long-term future of the club can only be secured under a new owner.”

On Tuesday the Boehly-Clearlake consortium, which agreed terms to acquire Chelsea for 4.25 billion pounds ($5.33 billion) earlier this month, passed the Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

“Following extensive work, we are now satisfied that the full proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or any other sanctioned individual,” the British government said in a statement released Wednesday.

“We will now begin the process of ensuring the proceeds of the sale are used for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, supporting victims of the war.

“The steps today will secure the future of this important cultural asset and protect fans and the wider football community.” It was a hotly-contested sale process following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine three months ago and Boehly’s group had to guarantee 1.75 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) of investment in the team to be chosen as the new owners.

Groups led by Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and former British Airways chairman Martin Broughton were earlier eliminated from the bidding process while a consortium led by Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family pulled out of the running.

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