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Chelsea sale: Roman Abramovich denies demand for repayment of club’s $2bn loan

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Another day, another twist in the saga surrounding Chelsea’s upcoming sale. While the consortium is supported by Todd Boehley has reportedly entered a period of exclusivity signing a deal for Chelsea, the status of Roman Abramovich’s nearly $2 billion loan to the club is unclear. There have been reports that he could demand repayment of the loan, but under the terms of the sale and given the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has led to an asset freeze, Abramovich is unable to see any proceeds from it.

A spokesman for Abramovich released a statement through Chelsea to clarify things and essentially denied he wanted the loan repaid.

“Mr. Abramovich was not involved in this work and it was conducted independently by experts with years of experience working in humanitarian organizations.

“Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for a loan to be repaid – such suggestions are dead wrong – as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the club at the last minute. However, as part of Mr Abramovich’s goal of finding a good manager for Chelsea FC, he encouraged every applicant throughout the process to invest in the club – including in the academy, the women’s team, the necessary refurbishment of the stadium and the maintenance of the work of the Chelsea Foundation.

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While the statement says Abramovich did not ask for the loan to be repaid, it also does not say the loan will be written off. The loan will be subject to European Union sanctions, which would freeze the funds. But if the sanctions are lifted in the future, this would still remain in a difficult situation. The statement reiterated that Abramovich has no access to or control over the funds. Most concerns are not about what Abramovich can do now, but what he might do in the future.

According to ESPN, Abramovich verified that the loan could be repaid to a company rather than directly to him, making that statement true but misleading. More will come of this as the status of the loan is the biggest sticking point in the Chelsea sale and if it has to be repaid it could prompt Boehley and his consortium to reconsider things, leaving the club’s future in doubt. If he were to step down during his exclusivity period and fail to reach an agreement, other suitors who fell short could be next in line to renegotiate a deal. Chelsea are hoping to have a new ownership group at the helm by the end of the transfer window to avoid a mass exodus of players as Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid) and Andreas Christensen (Barcelona) are already set to leave the club.

https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/chelsea-sale-roman-abramovich-denies-asking-for-clubs-2-billion-loan-to-be-repaid/ Chelsea sale: Roman Abramovich denies demand for repayment of club’s $2bn loan

Justin Scacco

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