Boris Johnson's spokesman offers Chelsea hope of licence changes amid Roman Abramovich sanctions


The United Kingdom government will consider making changes to the licence that allows Chelsea to continue to operate following sanctions placed upon Roman Abramovich.

 Boris Johnson's spokesperson said on Friday that they will remain in dialogue with the Blues and the Premier League in relation to any issues arising from the 'Russia Regulation' licence that was issued by the Treasury.

The Blues said on Wednesday that they "intend to engage in discussions with the UK Government regarding the scope of the licence", with uncertainty around the club heading into the rest of the season.

 Chelsea have already seen an immediate impact as sponsors consider their positions. Three have already announced they have requested to suspend their partnership, while Trivago have reaffirmed their support but hope for a swift change of ownership .

As it stands the Blues are not allowed to sell merchandise or tickets, renegotiate contracts or make transfers. Reasonable costs of travel to and from fixtures are allowed, but cannot exceed £20,000 per team, while the costs of hosting fixtures are also allowed but must not exceed £500,000 per fixture.

The licence currently runs until May 31st. However, the Blues have been offered some hope that alterations could be made to assist the day to day operations and to provide security. The Prime Minister's spokesperson told reporters:

"We're in constant contact with the club and the Premier League over any issues that have been raised through the sanctions and the licence that the Treasury have issued them.

"It's now up to the club to apply for any amended licence. I believe Chelsea have said that they will do that, and we'll obviously work with the club and... the league to consider any operationally necessary changes."

Chelsea's supporters trust met with sports minister Nigel Huddleston on Wednesday and stated that amends must be made to the licence to allow supporters to purchase tickets and to ensure recommendations of the fan led review are included in any sale of the club.

In a two-page letter sent to members of parliament and seen by , Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries said the intervention made has been to protect the club. She said:

“I know that colleagues will be on the receiving end of concerns from fans and supporters on issues such as tickets. We have taken the necessary action to put a safety net in place to allow the club to continue competing and avoid irreparable damage to our national game, but the need to sell merchandise or additional tickets at games are not essential to keep the club going. Ultimately, this could risk further revenue to a designated individual.

“Finally I would just note we are not seeking to punish Chelsea through sanctions, quite the opposite. We have intervened to ensure Chelsea can continue as a football club. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. This Government is committed to protecting them, but must do so in a way that does not benefit those linked to the Russian Government."

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