Portuguese government authorises Chelsea FC sale, proceeds for humanitarian purposes

  • Lusa
  • 26 May 2022

The Portuguese government's position has the agreement of the European Commission, according to the office of the minister of foreign affairs.

The government has given permission for the sale of Chelsea Football Club by Romam Abramovich, a Russian citizen with a Portuguese passport, and the proceeds will be used for humanitarian purposes.

In a statement, the office of the minister of foreign affairs explains that the two relevant national authorities – the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of finance – have given the green light to the request received from Roman Abramovich “for a humanitarian exemption, allowing the English club to be transacted”.

“The Portuguese authorisation stems from the assurance given by the British authorities that the proceeds of the sale will be used for humanitarian purposes, not directly or indirectly benefiting the owner of the club, which is on the European Union’s sanctions list,” the note adds.

The Portuguese government’s position has the agreement of the European Commission, the foreign affairs ministry said.

Portugal had received on Tuesday night a letter from Roman Abramovich, who has a Portuguese passport, requesting authorisation for the sale of English football club Chelsea.

The sale of Chelsea, still owned by Abramovich and the target of sanctions linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to a consortium led by US billionaire Todd Boehly, had been communicated on May 7.

The British club, third in the last edition of the Premier League, operates with some limitations precisely because of these sanctions.

At the moment, Chelsea operates under a special authorisation which expires on May 31 and which allows them to carry out certain operations, such as receiving money for television rights and selling tickets for certain matches.

The Londoners had announced on May 7 that the Boehly-led group would acquire Chelsea for £4.25 billion (€4.9 billion). The takeover was approved by the English football league on Tuesday.