Roman Abramovich: European Union impose sanctions

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Fresh problems for Abramovich
Fresh problems for Abramovich / Paul Gilham/GettyImages

The European Union has imposed sanctions on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, just under a week after the UK government did the same.

Reports that the Russian oligarch would be hit with punitive measures the EU first emerged over the weekend, and this has now been confirmed.

In a document relayed by Jessica Parker, Abramovich is said to have 'long and close ties to Vladimir Putin'.

"He has had privileged access to the president, and has maintained very good relations with him. This connection to the Russian leader helped him to maintain his considerable wealth," it continued.

This latest round of sanctions only makes the need for Chelsea to find new owners more pressing. 200 investors have expressed an interest since the Blues went up for sale last week but it is believed that the Boehly-Goldstein-Wyss consortium are currently frontrunners.

Until a deal is complete, Chelsea are unable to sell additional tickets and merchandise, while player contracts cannot be renewed either.

On Tuesday, the club caused controversy by requesting that their FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough on Saturday be played behind closed doors for reasons of 'sporting integrity', as the Blues had only sold a fraction of their away allocations before the ticket-sale ban was imposed.

However, after significant public backlash, Chelsea retracted this request and the game will go ahead as planned.

For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter