Roman Abramovich’s continued involvement with Chelsea could make them a toxic brand for investors affecting their clout in the transfer market.
At the weekend the billionaire announced that he was handing over stewardship of the club to its charitable foundation, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but he still owns the shares, and, since he also controls the foundation and is its chairman, some have viewed this as just a cosmetic exercise.
And now a sports marketing expert has warned that both existing and potential new sponsors will look at who in charge at the club and decide that they want no part of it.
Already there are calls for Abramovich’s UK assets to be seized , with a leaked Home Office document naming him as a person of interest.
Another Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who used to be the major minority shareholder in Arsenal and now has commercial ties to Everton, has had his assets frozen by the European Union, as part of the sanction imposed on close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.