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Roman Abramovich’s lawyers claim Chelsea’s sanctioned ex-owner among top UK taxpayers

Roman Abramovich's Chelsea ownership in numbers

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Mr Abramovich, who bought Chelsea FC from Ken Bates in 2003, has paid £1.75billion in tax in the UK over the past 20 years, according to his lawyers. Mr Abramovich’s representations also claim he and his businesses paid more than £41million in corporation tax, stamp duty and employer’s national insurance contributions in 2019/20 alone.

They said: “This places Abramovich among the top 25 tax contributors in that year.”

Such claims were made public in legal submissions made to the European Union in which the 55-year-old Russian oligarch argued sanctions imposed by the bloc are discriminatory, disproportionate and based on false allegations about his closeness to Vladimir Putin.

According to the Times, similar submissions have also been made to the UK Government.

The former governor of Chukotka has argued he pays more tax in both Britain and the European Union than he has in Russia and therefore that he should not be considered an ally to the Kremlin.

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Such numbers would put Mr Abramovich “firmly” in the top 50 taxpayers in the UK, according to Robert Watts.

Mr Watts, who compiles the Sunday Times’ Tax List, said: “These numbers would place him firmly on the list of the top 50 taxpayers but we’ve never had this kind of transparency from him before.”

However, Mr Abramovich’s wealth has reportedly taken a knock since Putin launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Times has claimed Abramovich’s fortune has halved from around £12billion to £6billion.

The UK Government listed Mr Abramovich as a Russian oligarch who had been sanctioned back in March.

Speaking about the decision at the time, Boris Johnson said: “There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.

“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people.

“We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.”

The decision also stung many of the 41,837 fans who previously crammed into Stamford Bridge to watch the blues in the Premier League and Champions League.

The decision even limited how many fans could watch games as the club was only able to seat season-ticket holders and those who had already bought tickets, meaning just 32,231 fans could watch Chelsea defeat London rivals West Ham by one goal to nil.

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