Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and Everton investor Alisher Usmanov have been told to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin to avoid facing sanctions in Britain.

According to The Telegraph, both Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov have been made aware that they need to openly condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure that their investments in Britain remain untouched.

Labour MP Chris Bryant has been vocal in stating that Abramovich is unfit to lead Chelsea and has since called for fans and players to join protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian international is the principal owner of the Blues, while Usmanov has a degree of influence at Everton.

Bryant, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on Russia, has called on all Russians who own tier 1 visas to clarify their objection to Putin’s actions.

“They should be lining up in front of the TV cameras to say ‘surely to God this can’t be happening,” said Bryant. “Otherwise we will conclude that they are still in hock to Putin.”

Fans of both Everton and Chelsea have also been asked to make their stance clear by unfurling Ukrainian flags at matches. With Chelsea set to take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, it remains to be seen if the Blues faithful will take a stand at Wembley.

Unlike the Blues owner, Usmanov does not have direct investments at Goodison Park. However, the degree of influence he holds cannot be discounted. His firm USM Holdings’ branding is displayed at the main building at Everton’s training centre, while another of his companies, Megafon, is the shirt sponsor for the Toffees’ women’s team.

Usmanov, who has boasted of his association with Putin in the past, also has a £30 million first-refusal agreement for Everton’s upcoming new stadium’s naming rights. Everton fans, meanwhile, made their stance clear ahead of kickoff against Manchester City.

Abramovich also moves in the high circles of Russia and was a confidante of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin before striking a chord with Putin. And after his daughter appeared to have made her stand on the conflict, the oligarch has decided to step away from the day-to-day running at Chelsea.

Bryant appears to be in no mood to back down and has pointed to Abramovich’s past admission that he used financial might for political gains. The MP has also called into question the Russian national’s position as owner of Chelsea despite his activities.

“Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country?”, Bryant demanded. “Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets including his £152 million home? And making sure that other people who have had Tier 1 Visas like this are not engaged in malign activity?”

Chelsea have emerged as a force in European football under the Russian’s ownership, and a change in the arrangement is now set to take place. Manager Thomas Tuchel has already admitted that the issues concerning Abramovich are proving to be a distraction.

Everton are already struggling to keep distance from the relegation dogfight and could do without negative publicity off the field. What the two Russians decide to do and how the British government will react remains to be seen.

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