British billionaire Nick Candy is still pursuing a takeover of Chelsea Football Club despite the sanctions that have been imposed on current owner Roman Abramovich.
Abramovich has had his assets frozen due to his links with Moscow and Russian president Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine a fortnight ago. The club is now essentially under a transfer embargo, new contracts cannot be offered and tickets cannot be sold with the Russian-Israeli unable to make money in the UK.
Property developer Candy is among a host of potential bidders for Chelsea, which was put up for sale with a £3bn-£4bn price tag on 2 March with the threat of government sanctions looming.
However, even though measures have now been imposed on Abramovich, Candy's interest has not waned. 90min revealed on Thursday that talks with interested parties were ongoing despite the UK government placing sanctions on the current owner.
A spokesperson for the businessman - who is a Chelsea season ticket holder - said: "We are examining the details of yesterday's announcement and we are still interested in making a bid.
"Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans. In our view, no one is the owner of a football club - you are the custodian of it for the fans and the community."
Indeed, other potential bidders - including the Todd Boehly-Hansjorg Wyss consortium - are not thought to be deterred by the sanctions, which were widely expected following the outbreak of war. A quick sale is considered to be in the best interests of everyone involved.
An application can still be made to the government to sell the club, as long as Abramovich does not profit or make any money from the sale. The club owner has already signalled his intention to set up a charity foundation and donate "all net proceeds" to victims of the conflict in Ukraine.
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