Roman Abramovich has been disqualified as a director of Chelsea by the Premier League boa
Chelsea have been handed a new licence to continue operations, however, and the European champions are still locked in negotiations with the Government to ease restrictions.
Chelsea are now allowed to spend up to £900,000 on match-day costs, up from £500,000, following talks between club officials and the Government.
Travel costs for away games remain at £20,000 but the club can receive prize money this season from the competitions they are competing in, with further changes expected in the coming days.
The Government reiterated they are open to issuing a further licence to allow a sale of Chelsea to proceed.
A Government spokesperson said: “The Government is open to a sale of the club and would consider an application for a licence to allow that to happen
New York merchant bank the Raine Group has now assessed the terms of the licence and agreed a route forward for the sale with the Government, the PA news agency understands.
The Premier League board’s decision to disqualify Abramovich is unlikely to have any real impact given the sale process was already under way. It does not affect Chelsea’s ability to play matches.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, pledging to write off the Blues’ £1.5billion debt and to divert all proceeds to a new foundation to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine.
The 55-year-old moved to sell Chelsea after 19 years at the Stamford Bridge helm, amid Russia’s continued war in Ukraine.
Premier League statement: “Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK Government, the Premier League board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as a director of Chelsea Football Club.” Chelsea’s licence to operate amended following Government talks
Roman Abramovich has been disqualified as a director of Chelsea by the Premier League board but the sale of the club is expected to progress with Government oversight.
The sanctioning of Blues owner Abramovich by the UK Government on Thursday saw the Russian-Israeli billionaire’s UK assets frozen, including Chelsea, which stalled proceedings
The Government sanctioned Abramovich after claiming to have proved his direct links to Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime, although Chelsea’s owner has always denied any association.
The Raine Group’s progression of the sale means Chelsea’s suitors can again push forward with their bids to take control of the European and world champions of the club game.
Abramovich was understood to have been ready to work with Government oversight on the sale and, now the Raine Group has completed suitable checks, the interested parties can press on.
LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly remains well-placed for a purchase, with Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts also understood to be in the running.
British property tycoon Nick Candy has also confirmed his strong interest in buying the Blues and is in the process of building a consortium.
Chelsea saw several credit cards temporarily frozen on Friday amid a frenzied day of negotiations with the Government over the terms of their new operating licence.
Downing Street chiefs are ready to amend the terms of the licence so Chelsea can operate as normally as possible while ensuring Abramovich does not profit.
But Chelsea argue that Abramovich did not profit from regular operations anyway, so are hopeful of a swift restoration of a number of currently restricted concerns.
Chelsea cannot sell any new tickets, leaving fans who have not got season tickets or pre-purchased tickets unable to attend future matches.
The Blues cannot sell any merchandise, including new match programmes, meaning vendors will not be able to work their shifts in Sunday’s Premier League clash against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s players, meanwhile, are determined to show how committed they are when they play Newcastle United on Sunday despite the uncertainty surrounding the club.
A source close to the dressing room told Sky Sports News: “Now is the time to stick together until the storm passes. The club are working hard to stabilise the situation and minimise the impact of what is happening.
“Now is not the time to be speculating about your future. No one is thinking about the transfer market at such a difficult time for the club. The squad is focusing on football and staying strong together.”
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