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Chelsea sale ‘at risk’ ‘at risk’ press Roman Abramovich for fresh press Roman Abramovich for fresh

Whitehall officials have cast doubt on whether a licence to ensure Chelsea changes hands will be issued by the end of the month amid an impasse with Roman Abramovich, Sky News understands.

The £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea has been thrown into fresh doubt amid a renewed impasse between owner Roman Abramovich and Whitehall over the deal’s terms.

Sky News understands that government officials have doubts about whether a special licence needed to approve the sale will be issued before a deadline at the end of the month.

People close to the discussions say that ministers have yet to receive the assurances they are seeking from Mr Abramovich about the destination of the £2.5bn sale proceeds.

Without a deal ahead of various footballing authority deadlines, Chelsea could be excluded from club competitions next season or even face the renewed threat of administration.

People close to the situation cautioned that it remained fluid, and a licence could yet be issued before the end of the month, ensuring Chelsea begin next season under new stewardship.

The oligarch and his advisers struck a binding deal earlier this month with a group majority-funded by Clearlake Capital, a Californian investment firm, and spearheaded by the LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.

The sale would bring the curtain down on Mr Abramovich’s 19-year tenure as the owner of Chelsea, who lost to Liverpool on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup Final.