Chelsea FC will be allowed to sell tickets to away games, cup matches and fixtures involving the women’s team after the UK government made alterations to the club’s special license.
Due to UK sanctions placed on Russian oligarch and Chelsea club owner Roman Abramovich for his alleged ties with Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Blues had previously been unable to sell any tickets or merchandise.
Under the new license, proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Premier League, rather than Chelsea, and then be distributed to relevant parties – either the Premier League or charities.
Away fans can now buy tickets for Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, with the revenue going to the Premier League.
These changes will also allow away fans to attend knock-out fixtures, including Chelsea’s home Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Real Madrid on April 6 and the FA Cup semifinal against Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on Easter weekend.
Home tickets, meanwhile, are still subject to sanctions with only season-ticket holders or those who purchased tickets before the introduction of sanctions able to attend matches.
Chelsea have requested that any money generated by ticket sales, which the club would have usually received, be donated to victims of the war in Ukraine.
“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,” a Premier League spokesperson said in a statement.
“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.”
In response to the new license, The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust released a statement, urgently seeking “clarification from the DCMS & Chelsea FC on why CFC members will not be able to purchase tickets to home Premier League fixtures at Stamford Bridge.”
“The sanctions were not brought in to punish supporters,” the statement continued, “this decision is illogical & unfounded.”
Chelsea’s future is currently the source of much uncertainty since Abramovich announced that he would be selling the club, just days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Multiple bidders have expressed their interest, and the Raine Group – a US bank handling the sale of the club – is expected to announce a shortlist by the end of the week. The UK government will be the final arbiter of the sale.