Chelsea have had the terms of the licence imposed by the government following the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich eased further, with the club now allowed to sell tickets to fans for away fixtures.
The club will not receive any of the money made from these sales, nor from tickets sold at Stamford Bridge for visiting fans, which is now also permitted. Instead the revenue will go to Chelsea’s opponents and competition organisers, including the Premier League, the government said.
Chelsea fans will not be able to buy home tickets to watch the men’s team, but the changes ease some of the current uncertainty faced by supporters.
An updated “general licence to stage football matches” was issued by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) on Wednesday night and the sports minister Nigel Huddleston said the changes were made with supporters in mind.
“I would like to thank fans for their patience while we have engaged with the football authorities to make this possible,” he said.
“Since Roman Abramovich was added to the UK’s sanctions list for his links to Vladimir Putin we have worked extensively to ensure the club can continue to play football while ensuring the sanctions regime continues to be enforced.”
While only Chelsea season-ticket holders and those fans who bought tickets before the sanctions can attend Premier League home games, the government said an exception had been made for the WSL as “there is a risk of empty stands for these matches”.
Chelsea fans can purchase tickets for future Premier League away fixtures, with any revenue going to the host team.
Ticket sales from FA Cup and Champions League matches will go “via the Premier League to the relevant competition organiser or home club rather than Chelsea FC in order to remain compliant with current sanctions”.
Chelsea face Arsenal away in the Women’s FA Cup semi-final on 17 April and their ticket sales for that competition will go to the Football Association.
The government’s sanctions were intended to prevent Russian businessman Abramovich from making any money from Chelsea and his attempt to sell the Premier League club was halted when his assets were frozen.
Abramovich put the club up for sale on 2 March, five days after Russia invaded Ukraine.