Sanctions, Premier League and Chelsea’s future

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Close up of a corner flag during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on December 16, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

This week was perhaps the most dramatic and historically significant moment in the club’s history since Mr Abramovich bought the club in 2003. The war between Russia and Ukraine continues to rumble on with some of the scenes the most gruesome of what modern warfare could begin to look like in the 21st century. Mobile phone images circulating on social media go hand in hand with messages from both sides in more traditional news media. For much of the world, this is the first time this has happened on such a large scale.

Somehow, Chelsea Football Club has been caught in the middle of it all because of its owner, Roman Abramovich. The very status of the club as an entity has been called into question. Although that sounds extreme, the UK government’s penalties are incredibly, and one might even improperly suggest, strict. I am, of course, emotionally compromised. Les Bleus helped raise me as much as any other cultural institution. The club of such importance in my life that friends I haven’t heard from in years texted me when they heard about the sanctions.

Now, before we step forward into the clickbait, guilty until proven guilty, judged by public opinion in court and a jury system of peers created by immediacy on the internet, a few points should be perfectly clear:

  • The war in Ukraine is a tragedy, a real horror for human rights and something must be done about it.
  • Abramovich made the majority of his fortune during the breakup of the Soviet Union and he was heavily involved in politics. He was governor and senator in Russia.
  • Chelsea Football Club has been a community stronghold since 1905, 51 years before Abramovich was even born.

Let’s get into the thick of it.

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