UK government shifts stance on Chelsea ticket sales
Up to £30 million can be injected into the club despite sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich
A company backed by Roman Abramovich can pump up to £30 million ($40 million) into Chelsea before the club is sold as part of an update to its operating license.
Abramovich put the club up for sale on March 2 before his assets were frozen by the UK government due to alleged links to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Parties interested in taking over the west Londoners lodged bids ranging from £2-2.5 billion ($2.6-3.3 billion) before a deadline last Friday, with a sale that Abramovich cannot benefit from in any way possible if overseen by British authorities.
The UK government also granted Chelsea a special license to continue playing their matches which it has now amended to guarantee that the Blues can sell tickets to away games and cup matches.
At the same time the club’s parent company Fordstam Ltd, which is majority-owned by Abramovich, has been permitted to “pay the club up to £30,000,000 in respect of cash flow or liquidity issues” before it is handed over to new owners.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed the development by saying that the UK Government “has today made alterations to the license to Chelsea Football club so that fans will be able to access tickets to away matches, cup games and women’s fixtures”.
Chelsea will be allowed to sell tickets to away games, the FA Cup, the Champions League and women’s team matches after the UK government altered their license pic.twitter.com/BMQ2H9YeVG
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 23, 2022
“I would like to thank fans for their patience while we have engaged with the football authorities to make this possible,” Huddleston added.
“Since Roman Abramovich was added to the UK’s sanctions list for his links to Vladimir Putin we have worked extensively to ensure the club can continue to play football while ensuring the sanctions regime continues to be enforced,” Huddleston claimed.
Elsewhere, a Premier League spokesperson outlined how the revised license “allows fans to attend Chelsea FC games; Chelsea fans to travel to away Premier League fixtures and Chelsea fans to attend the FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and WSL games.
“The Premier League will receive and hold any revenue from the sale of these tickets that would normally have gone to Chelsea,” the spokesperson clarified.
“Chelsea FC have requested and the Premier League agreed that this revenue will be donated to charity to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine. The beneficiary charities will be announced in due course after consultation with the club,” it was concluded.
While Chelsea still cannot sell buy or sell players, nor sell extra tickets to their fans for home games that were previously only attended by season ticket holders, the fresh measures are still a boost to the club.
The amendments to the license come after the FA stated it hoped to have a sell-out crowd at the Wembley last four showdown and that it was “working with the Government on a method to achieve this whilst respecting the sanctions that are currently in place on Chelsea.”
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