Labour MP Chris Bryant says Chelsea FC should be seized by the Government
Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich has been hit by a number of government sanctions over his links to Vladimir Putin
Chelsea Football Club should be seized by the Government and proceeds used to help reconstruct Ukraine, MPs have heard.
Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich, who owns the Blues, has been sanctioned by the Government and must not profit in the UK under the terms of the restrictions.
This means the club has been banned from selling any tickets for matches.
The club has been allowed to keep operating under a special licence while Abramovich looks for a seller, with it valued at more than £2.5billion.
But Labour former minister Chris Bryant told the House of Commons that this does not go far enough, and that Government should be able to seize Chelsea FC.
He said: “We should not just be freezing, we should be seizing assets. I don’t think the Government has the power to do that, in normal times you wouldn’t want the Government to be able to seize assets, but we need to have that power now.
“Because if you just look at Chelsea Football Club, it’s in a kind of limbo at the moment. It ought to be able to flourish, I have no ill-feeling against Chelsea Football Club. I’m Welsh, I don’t really care about football very much.
“What I do care about is the asset should be seized by the Government so that it can be spent on reconstruction in Ukraine.
“If the Government doesn’t take that power, it’s not going to be able to do that.”
Abramovich is believed to be in Moscow after he was spotted in the VIP lounge of an Israeli airport.