In an interesting turn of events, the British government has backtracked on an earlier decision to stop Chelsea Football Club from selling tickets to its home games at Stamford Bridge. After initially being ordered to play matches behind closed doors, Chelsea fans can now purchase tickets to matches, but with a catch — the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Premier League.
Chelsea has been slapped with a number of sanctions due to the fact that the club is owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which began last month, the UK government has frozen the assets of a number of Russian companies and individuals in the UK.
As such, Chelsea had been deemed as part of the assets owned by Abramovich. He was initially forbidden to sell the club, and Chelsea was also banned from making any transfer deals including contract renewals. On top of that, ticket sales have been prohibited, with only a number of courtesy tickets given out to players’ families.
Weeks later, the UK Parliament agreed to allow Abramovich to push through with the sale, provided that the transaction be approved by PM Boris Johnson himself under the watchful eye of Parliament. Of course, the deal also means that the Parliament will oversee where the proceeds will go, which won’t be back to Abramovich. It has been claimed that he vowed to use the money (an asking price of £3.5 billion) to provide assistance to affected Ukrainian families.
If the club is sold soon, the new owners will be able to negotiate new transfer deals in the upcoming transfer window. They will also be able to renew players whose contracts are due to expire this summer.
Now, in yet another turn of events, Chelsea will be allowed to sell tickets, especially for the big champions League clash against Real Madrid. The fixture will take place on April 6, and it was initially thought that fans won’t be allowed to watch, causing major uproar from fans of both sides. The clash is highly anticipated by fans of both sides, especially since it is a repeat of last year’s semi-final.
The first leg of this year’s quarter-final clash will be played in Stamford Bridge, with the decider taking place at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. It will now appear to be business as usual for fans, who will be able to buy tickets for home and away Chelsea matches.
According to Marca, away tickets will also be made available for fans of other clubs playing at Stamford Bridge. This applies to both the men’s and women’s teams. Instead of letting all that income go to waste, the English FA has decided to take advantage of the situation instead. It remains to be seen if the Premier League will be transparent with the income and what the money will be used for.