Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government as part of attempts to crackdown on wealthy Russians with assets in the country.
The Chelsea Football Club owner is one of seven more Russian oligarchs who have had sanctions placed on them by ministers on Thursday in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A government document announcing the move said Mr Abramovich has had a “close relationship for decades” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“This association has included obtaining a financial benefit or other material benefit from Putin and the government of Russia,” it said.
Last week, Mr Abramovich announced that he intends to sell Chelsea after almost 20 years of ownership, and pledged that net proceeds from the sale would be donated to “all victims of the war in Ukraine”.
The sanctions will come into force before the sale of the football club, which was previously estimated to be worth around £3bn, is able to take place.
Chelsea’s shirt sponsor Three, the mobile phone and telecommunications company, said they are reviewing their relationship with the club after the British government announced sanctions on the club’s owner.
“We are in discussions with Chelsea and we are reviewing our position,” a Three spokesperson said.
Another club sponsor, delivery service Zapp, said its partnership with the club is also now “under review”
Abramovich will have his assets frozen under the move, will also face a prohibition on transactions with UK individuals and businesses and will have a travel ban forbidding him to enter the UK.
The announcement, which comes 117 years to the day since Chelsea was founded, also states that jets and yachts owned or chartered by Mr Abramovich can been seized.
The outgoing premiership side owner’s net worth is an estimated £9.4bn and he is one of the few oligarchs from the 1990s to maintain prominence under Mr Putin.
The UK is the first nation to sanction Mr Abramovich, who the government has described as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch”.
Seven more Russian oligarchs sanctioned
The other six Russian oligarchs who have been sanctioned by the UK government on Thursday are:
• Oleg Deripaska, who has stakes in En+ Group – a major extractives and energy company
• Igor Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft – a Russian state oil company
• Andrey Kostin, chairman of VTB bank – the second largest bank in Russia
• Alexei Miller, chief executive of energy company Gazprom
• Nikolai Tokarev, president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft
• Dmitri Lebedev, chairman of the board of directors of Bank Rossiya – widely considered to be The Kremlin’s private bank
The seven latest individuals to be sanctioned have a collective net worth of around £15bn.
The government has now sanctioned more than 200 individuals and entities. – Sky Sports.