UK Government threatens Chelsea as Roman Abramovich requests for £1.6bn loan to be repaid

Roman Abramovich has been warned the sale of Chelsea may be BLOCKED if he does not go back on a last-gasp U-turn.

When Abramovich announced his plan to sell the club in March, ending his 19-year reign, the Russian insisted he was not looking to benefit.

In his unprecedented public statement, issued through the club website, Abramovich said: “I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid.

“This has never been about business nor money for me but about pure passion for the game and the club.”

But, according to The Sun, it has now emerged that Chelsea have informed the Government that Abramovich now DOES want the £1.6bn he had loaned to the club through an investment vehicle to be repaid, in full, as part of the sale process.

That has put the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which has the final right of assent to any new buyer after Abramovich’s assets were frozen, on high alert.

And unless the Chelsea owner reverts to his original promises, the possibility of the ENTIRE deal being blocked, potentially consigning Chelsea to the scrapheap and ending 117 years of Stamford Bridge history, is a real one.

It is understood that, despite granting “exclusive terms” to the consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly – although Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe retains an interest in a £4.25bn deal – Chelsea are demanding a change in the process.

The club have argued that the debt “owed” to Abramovich through the club’s parent company Fordstam should be sent as part of the proceeds of sale to Jersey-based Camberley International Investment.

Abramovich’s name does not appear on any financial listings of the Channel Islands concern but it is believed he IS linked to the company.

That, the Government believes, would mean the Russian banking a significant portion of the sale funds, despite his previous public statements insisting that was not a concern or interest.

But ministers have made it clear that they will not accept the Russian benefitting in ANY way from the process after he was placed on the UK sanctions list for his support of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The idea that Abramovich or a related company will be able to walk away with £1.6bn – albeit money that he has previously loaned the club over the past 19 years – was described last night as “a non-starter”.

It has been reiterated to Chelsea that the club’s operating licence only runs until May 31 and that the club is now, genuinely, on borrowed time.

(Watch Goal on Video) Sadio Mane scores! 76’… Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool

Liverpool have scored three goals in 12 minutes in this second half.

Rulli comes racing out of his box and Mane gets to the ball first taking it around him.

The Senegal striker slides the ball into an empty net.

Liverpool are 13 minutes away from booking their place in Paris.

There seems no way back for Unai Emery’s side.

Never say never, this tournament tends to have many twists and turns.

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(Watch Goal on Video) Luis Diaz scores! 68’… Villarreal 2-2 Liverpool

Alexander-Arnold crosses this time with his left foot.

He finds Luis Diaz on the back post who heads home.

What a second half display by Liverpool, turning this tie around.

With twenty minutes left, Liverpool have got their two-goal advantage back.

Moreno comes off for Villarreal.

They push forward looking to find a way back into this tie.

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(Watch Goal on Video) Fabinho scores! 62’… Villarreal 2-1 Liverpool

Fabinho is threaded in and he finds himself one on one with the keeper.

He opts for power rather than precision and ball goes straight through Rulli’s legs.

Huge goal for the visitors.

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Francis Coquelin scores! 40’…Villarreal 2-0 Liverpool

Capoue has the ball on the right hand side of the area.

He chips a ball into the back post and Alexander-Arnold is daydreaming.

Coquelin rises to head the ball into the top corner.

Klopp will have to give his team the hairdryer treatment at half-time as this is one of the worst performances of the season from his side.

Villarreal are rampant.

Liverpool are struggling to contain them.

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(Watch Goal on Video) Boulaye Dia scores! 4’…Villarreal 1-0 Liverpool

Liverpool with some sloppy defending not showing awareness for the opposition players around them.

Capoue winning the ball at the back post and finding Dia with his cutback.

That goal has changed the whole complexion of the tie.

Liverpool need to find a way back into this game.

Confidence is high with Emery’s side.

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