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UK property magnate Candy to give Chelsea fans seat on board if he buys club

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Welcome messages are seen at the entrance to Chelsea Football Club’s stadium, Stamford Bridge, following Britain’s imposing of sanctions on the club’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, in London, Britain, March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

British property developer Nick Candy will give Chelsea fans a seat on the board if he buys the club from Roman Abramovich and also provide short-term funding after Britain sanctioned the Russian billionaire, Sky News reported.

Anyone interested in buying Chelsea can make a proposal to the government, Britain said on Friday after it hit Abramovich with sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The announcement halted Abramovich’s plans to sell the club, which he had expected to fetch more than 3 billion pounds ($3.9 billion).

The 49-year-old Candy, a Chelsea supporter since boyhood, said on Friday he was interested in making a bid.

Sky News reported the proposal to offer a seat to fans on the board was a central part of Candy’s pitch to buy Chelsea and he was in talks with financiers about joining his bid ahead of a deadline for offers at the end of the week.

He will also offer short-term funding if Chelsea face a cash crunch, the report added.

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The government on Saturday amended its special licence issued to Chelsea to operate so the club could spend 900,000 pounds to stage each game.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 for a reported 140 million pounds and his investment resulted in the most successful era in their history, with the club winning five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League twice.

The Premier League board on Saturday disqualified Abramovich as a director at the club after he was sanctioned. 

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbour’s military capabilities and “de-Nazify” the country.

The entry on the British sanctions list described Abramovich as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch” who enjoyed “a close relationship for decades” with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Abramovich has denied having such ties.

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Chelsea, who are third in the league, host Newcastle United later on Sunday.

($1 = 0.7671 pounds)

-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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