Chelsea FC: UK property developer Nick Candy ‘still interested in’ buying club despite Roman Abramovich sanctions

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By Sammy Mngqosini, CNN

British property developer Nick Candy remains interested in buying English Premier League club Chelsea after the UK government sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the 49-year-old did not disclose the amount of a potential offer.

“We are reviewing the details of yesterday’s announcement and are still interested in making an offer,” Candy’s spokesperson said in a statement to CNN, referring to new UK government sanctions against Abramovich.

“It is clear that this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans,” the statement added. “In our view, no one owns a football club – you are the guardian of it for the fans and the community.”

Earlier this month, Abramovich announced his intention to sell Chelsea, as it is “in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners”.

It came after the Russian oligarch said he had handed over the “stewardship” of Chelsea to trustees of the club’s charitable foundation, Abramovich said in a statement released last week.

But the British government sanctioned the Russian billionaire on Thursday, freezing his assets and banning transactions with British individuals and companies, halting the potential sale of the club.

Chelsea have been granted a special license to continue to organize fixtures and carry out football activities – including the payment of players and club staff – but certain actions are not permitted, such as the buying and selling of new players and the sale of tickets for matches beyond those already sold to fans.

The British government is open to the sale of the Premier League club and would consider applying for a new license to allow the sale, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

“We would have to grant another license. I think it’s fair to say that the government is open to selling the club, but […] currently it would require another license and it would require further conversation with the Treasury,” the spokesperson told reporters.

Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss also expressed interest in buying the club as part of a consortium last week.

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