CHELSEA

Roman Abramovich demands 697 billion naira loan be 'repaid' as takeover hangs in limbo

The sanctioned Russian billionaire has taken a dramatic 'U-turn' on his vow to write off Chelsea's hefty loan debt despite the imminent conclusion of the club's sale

Roman Abramovich considering loan re-payment as Chelsea takeover stalls indefinitely

According to a report from The Times, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is seriously considering turning back on his vow to write off Chelsea's N697 billion( £1.6bn) debt as part of the club's sale, despite the takeover seemingly nearing a conclusion.

Club officials had last week told the government that they they want to restructure the way the London club is being sold.

According to reports, there was a demand that the debt linked to parent company Fordstam is paid off to a Jersey-based company called - Camberley International Investments.

A spokesperson for Abramovich has not replied to a request for comment, neither has a spokesman from the UK government.

When the club was put for sale in early March, Abramovich had said in a statement that he would not be asking for any loans to be repaid.

The 55-year-old Russian Oligarch also said that any profits from a sale would go to victims of the war in Ukraine.

The latest development comes four days after it was revealed that the consortium led by American businessman and LA Dodge owner Todd Boehly, had entered exclusive talks with Chelsea over a deal that will break records for the sale of a sports team.

The news of Chelsea's preferred bidder, broke two hours after Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced that he would table a bid to buy the club that would, in total, be worth more than £4bn.

However, seeing that his offer arrived nine weeks into a process that was being handled by US merchant bank Raine Group, raised eyebrows.

Ratcliffe spent the weekend meeting with stakeholders involved in Chelsea, including the supporters' trust, and could step in should Boehly fail in the dying stages.

Chelsea have until the end of May - when the operating license created by the government when Abramovich was sanctioned because of his links to Russia president Vladimir Putin is set to expire.

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