Football/Soccer

What Chelsea can and can't do after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned

The current licence does not permit Abramovich to sell the club, which had been his stated intention

Chelsea have been placed under a special operating licence after the British government sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The club must now operate under certain restrictions which cover the men's, women's and age-group teams.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the details of what the club can and cannot do.

Sale of the club

The current licence does not permit Abramovich to sell the club, which had been his stated intention. However, PA understands the British government would consider an application for a new licence to allow the sale of the club, provided it is demonstrated he would not benefit in any way from that sale. He has previously said the proceeds of any sale would go to support the people of Ukraine.

Payments out

A document issued by the Treasury states the club can continue to pay the salaries, allowances and pensions of all employees. Fees, dividends and other allowances to directors which pre-date the licence can be paid, with the exception of anything due to Abramovich.

Fees related to the day-to-day maintenance of club facilities can be paid, but no money can go towards new capital works or refurbishment of Stamford Bridge or any other club-owned sites.

Payments in

The club can still receive money from other clubs for existing loan or player sale arrangements.

Television revenue and performance fees can still be paid to the club.

Transfers and contracts

No new player sales or purchases will be permitted under the licence, and discussions on new deals for players who are out of contract in the summer - such as men's team captain Cesar Azpilicueta - must go on hold.

Match day

Travel costs for any match played by a team representing Chelsea will be capped at £20,000. That immediately raises the issue of how the men's team will be able to fulfil future Champions League away ties beyond next week's last-16 second leg against Lille.

Fees of up to £500,000 for hosting any Chelsea match can be paid for security, stewarding and so on.

Existing ticket holders can still attend matches, and purchase food and drink while there.

Merchandise

Third parties who purchased or produced club merchandise prior to March 10 are permitted to sell existing stocks, on the condition that no funds or other financial benefits are made available to the club or Abramovich.

Other points and principles

The club are obliged to keep records of any activity permitted under the licence with a value exceeding £5,000 for a minimum of six years.

The licence expires on May 31. The Treasury reserves the right to vary, revoke or suspend it at any time. The core principle of the licence is to deny access to revenue, beyond what the club needs to operate on a day-to-day basis.

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Football/Soccer