A representative for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked Chelsea supporters to refrain from ‘inappropriate’ chanting in favour of Roman Abramovich.
Last week, the UK Government sanctioned Abramovich, describing him as a ‘pro-Kremlin oligarch’ who ‘has had a close association with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for decades.
Chelsea supporters have maintained their support for Abramovich despite widespread condemnation for singing the Russian’s name during a minute’s applause earlier this month for victims of the Ukraine war.
At Stamford Bridge on Sunday, a banner in favor of Abramovich was also visible during Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle United.
‘We recognize the strength of feeling around people’s clubs but that does not excuse behaviour which is completely inappropriate at this time,’ said a spokesperson for Johnson.
‘I think people can show passion and support for their club without resorting to that sort of stuff.’
‘We are open to the sale of the club, we would consider an application for a license to allow that to happen in the right circumstances,’ added the spokesperson.
‘But it is for Chelsea to determine the exact process. My understanding is potential buyers would approach the club, who would then need to apply for a further amended license to facilitate the sale.
‘As far as I’m aware that hasn’t happened at this point.’
The Blues have also been dropped by their kit sponsors Three, with more companies dropping their links with the club, saying they are ‘observing’ the situation.