Chelsea stars plan escape by contacting lawyers over torn contracts

Plus, a Q&A on what's next for Chelsea as they scramble to keep the club afloat

GB About: Chelsea Publish: 03/11/2022 Edit: 03/11/2022 Author: Gardener

ChelseaChelsea players are scrambling for possible escape routes should the club be hit with financial Armageddon as a result of sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich. Agents have been in touch with lawyers to ask about their options if payrolls are delayed in the worst-case scenario in the coming months. A host of Chelsea rivals are known to be circling in circles should the club run into serious financial difficulties, which analysts say could happen if takeover attempts falter. Unless Abramovich has been quietly pouring money into the club since the Ukraine crisis erupted, executives could soon struggle to meet their £28million monthly payroll expenses. Cash reserves will be of little help as there was just £17million in the club's parent company at the time of the last accounts. Lawyers confirmed to Telegraph Sport, on condition of trust, that they have heard from affected agents who have asked for clarification on their players' employment rights. A legal source said players may have to remain unpaid for two months to have "clear valid reasons" - with a representative then giving a 15-day notice period to end their contract. However, given the aggravating circumstances of Abramovich's sanction, a court could rule in a player's favor if he or she left earlier. There has been a sense of unity between Thomas Tuchel and his squad in recent weeks but representatives have told lawyers they need to be aware of options if the club find themselves in financial paralysis. Chelsea's immediate financial prospects remain shrouded in confusion after 24 hours in which the club were forced to relinquish financial backing from Abramovich, as well as matchday revenue and prize money. Securing a bank loan already looks very problematic as credit cards linked to the club's corporate accounts at Barclaycard are now subject to temporary restrictions as banks respond to the sanctions. Under the current license, which allows the club to operate while Abramovich's assets are frozen, The Telegraph understands Chelsea would not be able to pay for enough security, stewarding and catering to cover all sections of Stamford Bridge to keep open. Chelsea don't think they can complete the season under the current terms of the license, which they hope will be reviewed in the coming days. Nike, who have nine years left on their £60m-a-year contract, have yet to say whether they will continue to support the club after Three, the club's main shirt sponsor, decided to suspend their partnership. There is growing hope within the club that the American kit brand will stand by them after Trivago announced on Friday it would keep its £10m-a-year deal. Sources close to the government-Chelsea talks insist ministers would certainly help speed up a takeover if the acquisition candidate is deemed suitable and suitable. As of 9am Thursday, Roman Abramovich was in a race against time to sell the club. Now that his assets are frozen, Chelsea are instead scrambling to buy time to keep the club afloat. Telegraph Sport investigate where the club is going from here: During the most recent accounts up to the end of last season there was just over £17million in cash reserves at Chelsea's parent company. Unless Abramovich has been quietly pouring money into the club since the Ukraine crisis erupted, Chelsea will immediately have to rely on other sources to cover a monthly wage at the club - now estimated at £28million. With the drawbridge lifted for almost all other commercial revenue, executives were quick to call the government on Tuesday to say the current sanctions license could leave them broke. Much of the theoretical risk the club now faces stems from the financial ecosystem Abramovich created for Chelsea. The loans he's pumped out since buying the club in 2003 now stand at £1.5billion. He had promised to write off the debt after putting the club up for sale last week, with the proceeds benefiting "all the victims of the Ukraine war", but he may feel less inclined to be the good guy after the government turned against him. The loss of matchday revenue isn't as painful as it could have been as the club decided to buy a £1bn stadium refurbishment as a result of their decision in 2018. Last season alone, Abramovich injected around £150m and around £130m lifted off to end the year and lend the club a combined £19.9m. "That means there will always be months when Chelsea don't have the money themselves to pay the wage bill," said Kieran Maguire, lecturer in football finance at Liverpool University. “He lends the club the money and when the next installment comes in – either from transfers or the Premier League – the club then use that to pay Abramovich back. Since the loans are from the owner himself and are interest-free, Chelsea can call itself effectively debt-free. With matchday and trade earnings being frozen, Chelsea may need to watch out for quick earnings that were already expected by the end of the season. This year's forecasts were comparatively rosy compared to some previous years as healthy profits were expected from player sales.Fordstam, Chelsea's parent account, describes how 13 players were sold for £103.7m. Installment payments for these deals are due at the end of the current season. Maguire, an accountant who had previously worked in bankruptcy, told Telegraph Sport that Chelsea may also look into the possibility of bringing forward its due TV payments from the Premier League and Uefa, which we could do to calm the troubled waters , would be to advance some of the money that was now due towards the end of the season to allow Chelsea to pay the next paycheck." Another way for executives to secure a bank loan - although this is made more difficult by the fact that Chelsea now have a frozen one Asset is.The Government says it is "open to a sale" and told Abramovich he could come to ministers with a potential buyer and then apply for a new license to allow for a takeover.The Premier League has in recent weeks Speaking of the fact that their directors and owners must have their tests completed within a few days."What we vers What I'm looking for is managing cash and buying time - that's what I used to do in the bankruptcy world. They are trying to buy time so business can continue. Whilst Chelsea are not in administration and I don't think that will be the case, a sale at the end of April would be ideal." Three, one of their main trading partners, sparked panic at the club by resigning his 40million contract on Thursday pounds a year and Plan International, one of Chelsea's charity partners, has also withdrawn its support.Other sponsors, including delivery app Zapp and car maker Hyundai, said they were reviewing their deals as analysts warned that trading partners "would be wary of association guilt." Conrad Wiacek, head of sports analysis at analytics firm GlobalData, said government sanctions against Abramovich have "cast a shadow" over Chelsea's numerous and lucrative trade deals. "While Chelsea has a sporting licence , to continue as a football club, many brands will shirk guilt by associa nation,” said Wiacek. After Trivago announced on Friday it would stand by its £10m-a-year deal, the club are secretly hoping Nike, who have declined to comment, will stick to their £60m-a-season deal. Commercial revenue of £153.6m was already down from £170.4m last year due to the impact of the pandemic. It seems unthinkable that Chelsea will start laying off players and coaches, but the prospect of the government being asked to furlough excess staff under the terms of the license has been raised. Gregory Ioannidis, a leading sports advocate, told Telegraph Sport that Treasury's salary support is difficult to sell.

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