Roman Abramovich sanctions: Chelsea can’t be ‘business as usual’ – Nigel Huddleston

Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale on March 2, five days after Russia invaded Ukraine

Chelsea cannot be allowed to operate as “business as usual” after penalties were imposed on Roman Abramovich, sports minister Nigel Huddleston has said.

Door-to-door ticket and merchandise sales have been halted, but the club is allowed to continue operating.

“We have to make sure that there is no new generation of additional revenue,” Huddleston said.

On Tuesday, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) said it believed more changes to penalties needed to be made ‘so as not to punish supporters’.

The government intervention was aimed at preventing Russian businessman Abramovich from making money with Chelsea and his bid to sell the Premier League club has been halted.

Abramovich put the club up for sale on March 2, five days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The initial penalties – outlined in a special license which allowed the west London club to operate – prevented ticket sales for Chelsea matches.

Corn license changes last week enabled Chelsea to sell tickets for away matches, cup matches and fixtures involving the women’s team.

Under the amended license, proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Premier League and then be distributed to the relevant party.

“We’ve had a constant dialogue with the Chelsea fans because the whole strategy is to be very, very clear that Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned and that clearly had implications,” Huddleston said on Wednesday.

“I’ve been very honest and open with the Chelsea fans saying ‘it will have an impact because he’s been sanctioned and he’s the owner of the club’.

“We have tried to make reasonable changes to the license to allow fans to engage with the club and continue as much as reasonably possible.

“I continue to work with the fans, but I was very clear from day one and that’s still the case – it’s not business as usual.

“It’s a different world because the club owner has been sanctioned.”

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has asked supporters to be able to buy tickets for all matches this season.

“CSE is deeply disappointed that we have not yet received a response from Nigel Huddleston, Nadine Dorries [Culture Minister] or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on important issues – including clarity on ticketing,” the supporters group said on Tuesday.

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