Russia’s invasion-Abramovich issued a warning as Chelsea fans As Chelsea fans pushed him to challenge him in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Roman Abramovich issued a warning
Russia’s invasion-Abramovich issued a warning as Chelsea fans
In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, historian Timothy Garton Ash of Oxford University has urged Chelsea fans to take a protest against owner Roman Abramovich at future Chelsea games.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to put economic penalties on Russia that will have a significant impact on the country, and one Labour MP has argued that Abramovich should be included in these restrictions.
After reading an excerpt of what he claimed was a leaked 2019 document from the Home Office, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said that Abramovich should “no longer be able to own a football club in this country” after speaking under parliamentary privilege after Russia President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine.
Mr Bryant has contacted Abramovich for comment on the accusation. Abramovich has always angrily disputed any idea that he has direct ties to Putin.
“As part of HMG’s [Her Majesty’s Government’s] Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign action, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices,” Bryant said, reading directly from the document. “‘HMG is focused on ensuring that his link to illicit finance and malign activity is unable to base themselves in the UK and will use the relevant tools at its disposal.”
Despite the fact that it was nearly three years ago, shockingly nothing has been done in this regard. Mr. Abramovich shouldn’t be allowed to own a football team in this country, right? Surely some of his assets, including his £152 million house, should be seized? And ensuring that other people with Tier 1 visas haven’t been involved in any criminal activity?”
Garton-Ash went on to say something about it on the most recent episode of BBC’s Question Time.
“I hope that the next time you go to a Chelsea game, you spread a banner that says, ‘Roman Abramovich, what are you saying to Mr Putin?'” he remarked.
Fiona Bruce, the show’s host, jumped in to clarify that this wasn’t the case up to that point, saying: “Well, I have to state and point out that he has not been subjected to any legal procedure in the United Kingdom, so we must be extremely cautious about what we say.”
“That is entirely correct, and I don’t want a libel action from Roman Abramovich,” Garton Ash continued, “but what I want to convey with that is that London has been far too kind to people in a big circle around Vladimir Putin.”
The historian in question used strong words, but as Bruce verified, the Russian billionaire has not been sanctioned, and even if he is in the coming days, Chelsea will not face financial consequences, according to the Sun.