Saturday, October 1, 2022

Chelsea FC Is Banned From Selling Match Tickets, Merchandises And Slapped With Player Transfer Ban As Roman Abramovich Is Sanctioned

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Chelsea FC was today banned from selling match tickets or signing new players and must close its stadium shop after Roman Abramovich was added to the UK’s sanctions list.

Turkish Billionaire Confirms Bid To Take Over From AbramovichThe £9.4billion Russian oligarch, who has close ties to Vladimir Putin, has been prohibited from transactions with UK individuals and businesses – meaning his plan to sell the West London club looks impossible.

Chelsea’s status as a ‘significant cultural asset’ means it has been granted a special licence to continue playing, but Abramovich will be deprived of any profits.

The club has been banned from selling home and away tickets, with only fans who have already bought tickets – including 28,000 season ticket holders – still allowed to attend games.Carabao Cup Final : Tuchel Accepts Blame For Chelsea's Defeat, Hails Team Performance

There is also the prospect that Champions League games will be played effectively behind closed doors, as those tickets are often purchased separately from season tickets.

Read Also: Roman Abramovich Sanctioned In The UK…Oligarch Blocked From Selling Chelsea Football Club For Destabilising Ukraine
The licence prohibits Chelsea from spending more than £20,000 on any away game travel, raising serious logistical questions for its Champions League game in Lille next Wednesday. The play Norwich away tonight and Newcastle at home on Sunday.

A source told Mailonline: ‘Stamford Bridge is not going to be empty … we don’t expect them to play behind closed doors. It does mean there may be some empty seats but not an empty ground.’

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Chelsea will not be able to agree any new contracts, preventing it from engaging in the summer transfer market, but existing staff, stadium stewards and players will still be paid. It can also continue to receive TV broadcast payments and provide food and drink at matches.

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The club cannot sell any merchandise itself, but retailers who already hold stock can continue to do so, as long as none of the money ends up in Chelsea’s hands. The licence to continue operating will last until May 31, but can be ‘varied, revoked or suspended’ at any time.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the aim was to ensure that Abramovich cannot ‘benefit from his ownership of the club’. The Putin-linked tycoon’s name was chanted by Chelsea fans during a minute’s applause for Ukraine at Burney on Saturday, leading to widespread condemnation.

The shape of Chelsea’s long-term future has naturally been thrown into doubt, but Government ministers were quick to insist any damage would be limited.

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Debris is seen on site of the destroyed Mariupol children’s hospital as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022 in this still image from a handout video obtained by Reuters. Ukraine Military/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Nadine Dorries said on Twitter: ‘Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account.

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‘Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chelsea and its fans. We have been working hard to ensure the club & the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.

‘To ensure the club can continue to compete and operate we are issuing a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches while, crucially, depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club.

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‘I know this brings some uncertainty, but the Government will work with the league and clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them.’

Abramovich has changed the face of British football in his time as Chelsea owner, leading the Blues to 21 trophies in 19 years in a clean sweep of all global competitions.

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But that era has been brought to a halt amid Vladimir Putin and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

British billionaire Nick Candy was the latest high-profile business magnate to throw their hat into the ring for Chelsea’s sale, amid a host of suitors for the Champions League holders.

Swiss tycoon Hansjorg Wyss and American investor Todd Boehly were also in the running, with more than 10 credible parties understood to have been compiling bids.

The Chelsea squad will continue to prepare for Thursday’s Premier League clash at Norwich as normal, but everyone at the club will now set about examining the details of the current situation.

Mr Abramovich’s one time business partner, Oleg Deripaska, has been hit with the same sanctions – as have Rosneft chief Igor Sechin and four more described as being in Putin’s ‘inner circle’.

Boris Johnson said: ‘There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.

‘Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.’Former Chelsea Player Slams Blues Club World Cup Celebration KOKO TV.NG

Photo Credit: Getty

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