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Chelsea FC: British property developer Nick Candy “still interested in” buying club despite Roman Abramovich sanctions

<i>Alexander Hassenstein/UEFA/UEFA/Getty Images</i><br/>British property developer Nick Candy
UEFA via Getty Images
Alexander Hassenstein/UEFA/UEFA/Getty Images
British property developer Nick Candy

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 bid.

“We are examining the details of yesterday’s announcement and we are still interested in making a bid​,” said Candy’s spokesperson in a statement to CNN, referring to the new UK government sanctions on Abramovich.

“Clearly this is a time of great uncertainty for all Chelsea fans,” added the statement. “In our view, no one is the owner of a football club — you are the custodian 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.”

This came after the Russian oligarch declared he gave “stewardship” of Chelsea over to trustees of the club’s charitable foundation​, according to Abramovich in a statement released last week.

But the UK government on Thursday sanctioned the Russian billionaire, freezing his assets and prohibiting transactions with UK individuals and businesses — halting ​the club’s potential sale.

Chelsea was a granted a special license to continue to fulfil fixtures and carry out football business — including the payment of players and club staff — but certain actions are ​not permitted, such as buying and selling new players and selling tickets for games beyond those already sold to fans.

The UK government is open to the sale of the Premier League club and would consider an application for a new licence to allow for a sale to take place, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

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

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

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