Soccer-British govt amends licence to allow Chelsea to sell tickets

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Chelsea v Newcastle United
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Newcastle United - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - March 13, 2022 General view of a Chelsea banner inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/David Klein

March 23, 2022

(Reuters) – Chelsea supporters will be able to buy tickets to away games, cup games and women’s fixtures after the British government amended the club’s special licence, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said on Wednesday.

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

Premier League Chelsea were unable to sell tickets due to British government restrictions after sanctions were imposed on the club’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“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.

“I would like to thank fans for their patience while we have engaged with the football authorities to make this possible.”

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.

“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.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)