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Fair Game: Chelsea crisis result of culture of ignoring financial sustainability

Chelsea’s future is uncertain after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government.

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Football has to move away from the culture where owners like Roman Abramovich bankroll clubs, campaign group Fair Game has said (Adam Davy/PA)

Football has to move away from the culture where owners like Roman Abramovich bankroll clubs, campaign group Fair Game has said (Adam Davy/PA)

Football has to move away from the culture where owners like Roman Abramovich bankroll clubs, campaign group Fair Game has said (Adam Davy/PA)

The crisis at Chelsea is a result of a culture that “ignores financial sustainability”, the reform group Fair Game has said.

The European champions face an uncertain future after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government over his ties to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, who has launched an invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich has ploughed in more than £1.5billion since he bought Chelsea in 2003, and the club have already stated the need to amend a licence which allows them to operate but prevents them from generating new revenue.

Fair Game director Niall Couper told the PA news agency: “The situation at Chelsea is yet another example of why football needs a radical rethink.

“The question marks over the club’s future are a result of a culture that ignores financial sustainability.

“Too many clubs are being bankrolled. And the question has to be asked what happens when (those benefactors) disappear?”

Couper added: “We need to move away from a culture that is largely dependent on owner benefactors.

“In 2020, 52 per cent of clubs were technically insolvent and that was before the pandemic. Those numbers need to change.

“We need real-time financial reporting, powers to intervene when problems arise and crucially the Sustainability Index.

“An index that uses the vast sums of funds from the TV revenues to reward well-run clubs, clubs that are financially sustainable and can survive without an owner benefactor.”

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