UK Govt steps in to amend Chelsea’s ticket sales ban

The British government has stepped in to help English Premiership club Chelsea FC after sanctions were imposed on the club’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the latest ruling, the club’s supporters will be able to buy tickets to away games, cup games and women’s fixtures after the government amended the club’s special licence, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said on Wednesday.

Chelsea cannot sell tickets to home fans for home league games but away supporters will be able to buy tickets for matches at Stamford Bridge, with revenue going to the Premier League. The club will be able to sell tickets for their Champions League quarter-final at home to Real Madrid on April 6 and the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Crystal Palace 10 days later.

The club will not receive any revenue from the ticket sales, the DCMS added, with all proceeds going to relevant competition organisers.

“Since Roman Abramovich was added to the UK’s sanctions list for his links to (Russian president) Vladimir Putin, we have worked extensively to ensure the club can continue to play football while ensuring the sanctions regime continues to be enforced,” sports minister Nigel Huddleston said.

“Revenue will go via the Premier League to the relevant competition organiser or home club rather than Chelsea FC in order to remain compliant with current sanctions,” the government added.

Chelsea season-ticket holders and those supporters who bought tickets before the sanctions can attend Premier League home games, but an exception has been made for fixtures in the Women’s Super League as “there is a risk of empty stands for these matches”.

Additionally, Chelsea supporters can purchase tickets for away Premier League games with all proceeds going to the host team.

Chelsea were initially put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion and before sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government, effectively giving it control of the club. The club’s sale is being overseen by U.S. bank Raine Group, which plans to narrow down the shortlist of bidders to three.

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