Chelsea will be allowed to sell some tickets to games once again after the government eased some of the terms of its sanctioning licence.
The Blues are operating under a special licence after sanctions put on Russian owner Roman Abramovich shortly after he put the club up for sale. Amongst the terms, they were unable to sell any tickets or merchandise, which forced their club shop to close on the day the news was announced.
The government will now allow Champions League tickets to be sold again ahead of the first leg of their quarter-final clash against Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge in April. However, Chelsea won’t receive any proceeds from tickets sold, with UEFA set to collect the cash. The government’s updated license states that Chelsea must transfer proceeds from ticket sales “to a permitted third party”.
“I would like to thank fans for their patience while we have engaged with the football authorities to make this possible. Since Roman Abramovich was added to the UK’s sanctions list for his links to Vladminir Putin we have worked extensively to ensure the club can continue to play football while ensuring the sanctions regime continues to be enforced.”
The limit Chelsea can spend on matchday overheads has already been increased by the government since sanctions were first announced. Discussions are ongoing surrounding more flexible budget for first-team away travel.
For the time being, Chelsea still cannot sell new tickets for home Premier League games, but existing season ticket holders are still permitted to attend whilst there will be access to tickets for women’s games. Away fans will also now be able to buy tickets. Chelsea fans will also be able to attend the upcoming FA Cup semi-final at Wembley after the Football Association was involved in talks to ensure fans of both the Blues and opponents Crystal Palace could attend.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The Government has today made alterations to the licence to Chelsea Football club so that fans will be able to access tickets to away matches, cup games and women’s fixtures.