Chelsea allowed to sell some match tickets after government eases club’s special licence

Chelsea will be allowed to sell some tickets again as the government announced changes to the club’s special licence.

The west London football club had been banned from selling tickets after billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned for his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under the amended licence, Chelsea fans can purchase tickets for future Premier League away fixtures, as well as cup games and women’s fixtures.

However, Chelsea cannot sell new tickets for its home Premier League games to its fans.

Only existing season ticket holders can attend those matches at Stamford Bridge – but away fans can now buy tickets.

Image:
Roman Abramovich, who denies having close links to President Putin, put the club up for sale on 2 March, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine

Games affected

The changes to the licence means Chelsea will be able to sell tickets for their home Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against Real Madrid on 6 April and the FA Cup semi-final with Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on the weekend of 16 April.

But no further home tickets will be made available to fans at Chelsea’s remaining Premier League home fixtures, although season ticket holders and those with tickets bought before the sanctions were imposed can still attend.

The government has made an exception for Women’s Super League fixtures to allow fans to purchase home as well as away tickets, due to the risk of the matches being played in front of empty stands.

Where will money from tickets go?

The amendment means Chelsea fans can purchase tickets to future Premier League away games, with revenue going to the home club.

Visiting fans will be able to buy tickets for Chelsea’s remaining Premier League home fixtures, with the money going to the Premier League.

For future FA Cup and Champions League matches, supporters will be able to purchase tickets with revenue collected by the relevant competition organiser or home club.

File photo dated 22-02-2020 of General view of fans arriving at the ground before the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government, freezing the Russian-Israeli billionaire...s planned sale of Chelsea. Chelsea will be given a special licence to continue operation, but the sale of the Stamford Bridge club is now on hold. Issue date: Thursday March 10, 2022.
Image:
Chelsea cannot sell new tickets for its home Premier League games to its fans

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “We have worked extensively to ensure the club can continue to play football while ensuring the sanctions regime continues to be enforced.”

Chelsea have asked for the revenue generated by ticket sales, which would normally have gone to the club, to be donated to war victims in Ukraine.

A Premier League spokesperson said: “The revised licence 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.

“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.”

The club was told earlier this month it could not sell new tickets and merchandise from its store after restrictions were imposed following sanctions on its owner.

Mr Abramovich is among numerous Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the government, facing asset freezes and travel bans, in response to Mr Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Chelsea fans ‘should be involved in ownership’

Club’s ownership

Mr Abramovich, who denies having close links to the president, put the club up for sale on 2 March, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

He is now trying to sell Chelsea in what has become a fiercely-contested auction, including bidders such as London-based property developer Nick Candy and a consortium led by LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly.

Read more: Nick Candy sweetens bid for Chelsea

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