Mayor of London makes case for Chelsea fans amid Abramovich sanction

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has urged the government to think of the ‘completely innocent’ Chelsea fans and avoid a ‘fire sale’ of the football club after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned.

The Russian owner has been hit with sanctions due to his links with Vladimir Putin, with Abramovich’s assets frozen, including the Premier League side.

Chelsea will keep playing games, as they are on Thursday night at Norwich, but the club will not be able to sign players or offer existing players new contracts, while they will also not be able to sell tickets outside of those already sold.

Khan is keen for the ‘completely innocent’ Chelsea fans not to be punished too harshly and the club should not be moved on in a ‘fire sale’.

“I think Chelsea are a great Premier League club, they’re the champions of Europe, the world club champions,’ Khan told the PA news agency.

“They were a great club before the current owner and they’ll be a great club after the current owner.

“It’s important to distinguish Chelsea and what’s happening in Ukraine because the reality is for too long Russian oligarchs close to Putin had been using homes in London, businesses in London, to launder money.

“I think it’s right that the Government is now taking sanctions and seizing assets of those Russian oligarchs close to Putin.

“What’s also important though is we don’t allow a situation where any asset which may be owned by a Russian oligarch close to Putin is sold off in a fire sale,

“What’s important is for these assets to be seized, I want some of these empty homes to be used to house some of these Ukrainians fleeing the war zone.

Some of these assets I want sold off to be used to support those Ukrainians, both who are still in Ukraine and those who have left Ukraine.”