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Chelsea plead with Government to lift ban on signings and contract extensions



Chelsea were on Saturday pleading with the Government to lift the ban on them signing players or extending contracts amid fears it could leave them with a major defensive crisis next season.

The European champions were seeking further amendments to the license allowing them to operate while Roman Abramovich’s assets were frozen after ministers agreed to relax some of the restrictions restricted on the club on Thursday.

Following another dramatic day in the ownership crisis to engulf Chelsea, Telegraph Sport can reveal Jonathan Goldstein to be the third member of the consortium leading the race to buy them.

That is after Telegraph Sport also revealed that Abramovich had been disqualified by the Premier League from owning the club following the sanctions imposed on him by the Government over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Those sanctions saw Chelsea banned from buying, selling and loaning players or offering new deals to members of their squad.

That included to key defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, and Andreas Christensen, all of whom are out of contract at the end of the season.

Unless the Government allows their deals to be extended or lifts Chelsea’s transfer embargo, the club face the double-whammy of losing the trio and being unable to replace them.

Chelsea, who have submitted a detailed list of changes they are seeking to the license to allow them to operate “as normal as possible”, were also said on Saturday to want the ban on them selling tickets scrapped because they needed the revenue to cover their costs in an already loss-making business.

But a Whitehall source warned there was no chance of the club being allowed to “carry on as normal”, adding: “They’ve got to live in the real world. People are getting bombed and losing their lives in another country. ”

The Government did make some amendments to Chelsea’s license on Saturday, almost doubling the amount they were allowed to spend on matchday costs from £ 500,000 to £ 900,000 amid concerns the club would otherwise lose millions fulfilling their fixtures.


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