Financial Sanctions: Russia General Licence

Thursday, 10 March 2022

General licence - IOM/2022/RUS010

The Treasury has the power to issue General Licences for financial and trade sanctions regimes under a number of Regulations. Treasury licences permit acts that would normally be prohibited by the Regulations to take place, and may be general or specific in nature. The Treasury licences outlined below correspond to general licences issued by HM Treasury this week, following the extension of financial and trade sanctions against Russia.

On 10 March 2022, the Treasury issued General Licence IOM/2022/RUS010 under regulation 64 of the Russia Sanctions (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, as they apply to the Isle of Man by the Russia Sanctions (Application) Regulations 2020 [SD 2020/0504] ('the Regulations') which pertains to the continuing operation of Chelsea Football Club ('the Club') and its subsidiaries. The Club is an entity owned or controlled by the designated person ('DP').

For the purposes of General Licence IOM/2022/RUS010 the DP is:

1.   Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich.

General Licence IOM/2022/RUS010 allows for the payments essential to the continuation of the operation of the Club. Under this licence the Club is permitted to:

  1. Pay the wages, allowances and pensions of all employees of the Club, including players, coaching, corporate and administrative staff

  2. Pay fees, dividends or other allowances to directors of the Club, which are payable under obligations which pre-date the licence. Remuneration, such as any fees, dividends, allowances or other payments to the DP or for the DP’s benefit are prohibited

  3. Continue the payment necessary for the ongoing regular maintenance of the Club and the Club’s grounds, including rates, council tax, other taxes, insurance building safety inspection costs, energy costs and other maintenance costs associated with the maintenance of the Club’s ground and training grounds, but excluding new capital works or refurbishments

  4. Pay reasonable costs of travel to and from fixtures by any of the Club’s teams for players and essential staff including costs for security staff, travel agencies or contractors. These costs may include travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, but may not exceed £20,000 per game, per Club team

  5. Make payments for goods and services necessary for the hosting of fixtures held at the Club’s grounds, including security, stewarding, emergency services and catering, not exceeding the value of £500,000 per fixture per Club team

  6. Continue to make inter-club payments to discharge obligations which existed prior to the designation under player loan and sale agreements

Persons who purchased tickets prior to 10 March 2022, including season-tickets purchased before that date, are permitted to attend fixtures and purchase refreshments at fixtures. Where persons pay for season tickets in regular instalments, those persons who entered into a payment plan before this date can continue to make payments.

Broadcasters may broadcast fixtures involving the Club, and the Club may still receive payments associated with broadcasting, including payment of broadcasting licence fees due to the Club.

Relevant bodies, including the English Football Association, the Premier League and the Union of European Football Associations may still pay the Club fees relating to their performance in competitions hosted by those bodies.

Any funds which the Club receives must be frozen due to the asset freeze on the DP.

Third parties who purchased Club merchandise prior to 10 March 2022 are permitted to continue selling existing stocks of merchandise, on the condition that no funds or benefits accrue to the Club or the DP. The license does not permit the purchase of new merchandise by a third party, nor does it permit the production of new merchandise, unless there is an existing obligation to do so which pre-dates the date of the DP’s designation.

Any person who uses the licence is required to keep accurate, complete and readable records, on paper or electronically, of any activity purporting to have been permitted under this licence with a value exceeding £5,000 for a minimum of 6 years. The Club must also make these documents available on request by Treasury.

General

The permissions in General Licence IOM/2022/RUS010 do not authorise any act which the person carrying out the act knows, or has reasonable grounds for suspecting, will result in funds or economic resources being made available in breach of the Russia Regulations, save as permitted under licences granted under the Russia Regulations.

General Licence IOM/2022/RUS010 takes effect from date of issue and expires on 31 May 2022.

Further details of the sanctions regime related to Russia may be found on the Customs and Excise pages of the Isle of Man Government website.

Issued By