The Portuguese government has granted permission for Roman Abramovich, who holds a Portuguese passport, to sell Chelsea. The move by Portugal was revealed on Thursday. Following British government authorised the purchase of Chelsea to a group led by a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers by a sanctioned Russian businessman.
Portugal’s approval was also required for the 2.5 billion pound ($3.1 billion) transaction to go through – the largest sum ever paid for a sports franchise. “The two competent national agencies, the ministries of international policy and finance approved Roman Roman’s petition for a humanitarian waiver. Also allowing English club to be sold,” the Portuguese government has stated in a release.
The Portuguese government stated that its support for the sale is contingent on “the promise offered by British authorities that earnings from the sale would be utilised for humanitarian objectives.”
Abramovich was granted Portuguese citizenship in 2021 as a result of a statute that gave naturalisation to the descendants of Sephardic Jews who were forced to flee the Iberian Peninsula centuries earlier. Following the invasion of Ukraine, British and European countries sanctioned Abramovich for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The British and Portuguese governments had to guarantee that the oligarch did not profit from the club’s forced sale.
Chelsea has been functioning under a British government license that ends on Tuesday, and Abramovich’s assets were seized in March. On Tuesday, the English Premier League completed the merger of the 2021 European champion.
Todd Boehly, who has a investment in the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers as well as the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, is the club’s buyer.
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