Chelsea sale: Boston Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca is latest suitor with fans now able to buy certain match tickets
Chelsea have access to £30m via Fordstam Ltd, owned by Roman Abramovich, so that the Blues can keep going until sold; any revenue the Premier League receives from Chelsea’s away ticket sales will be donated to charities helping Ukrainian refugees
The UK government has made amendments to Chelsea’s operating licence, meaning fans are now able to buy tickets to certain matches and the club have access to a £30m fund via their parent company.
Section 10.3 of Chelsea’s amended operating license says: “Under this licence, subject to the conditions below, the Parent may pay the Club up to £30,000,000.00 in respect of cashflow or liquidity issues faced by the Club.”
The Parent is Fordstam Ltd which is owned by Roman Abramovich, who was sanctioned by the UK government on March 10. Chelsea FC PLC is supported financially by Fordstam.
In another change to the licence, Chelsea fans can now buy tickets to away matches, cup games and women’s fixtures
However, tickets for home Premier League games are still subject to restrictions. Only season-ticket holders and those who purchased tickets before the UK government sanctioned owner Abramovich will be able to attend.
Visiting fans will be able to purchase tickets for Chelsea’s remaining Premier League home fixtures, with all revenue going to the Premier League.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The Government has today made alterations to the licence to Chelsea Football Club so that fans will be able to access tickets to away matches, cup games and women’s fixtures.
“I would like to thank fans for their patience while we have engaged with the football authorities to make this possible.
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.”
The Premier League later said any additional revenue they receive from Chelsea ticket sales will be donated to charities helping Ukrainian refugees.
A spokesperson said: “Chelsea FC have requested and the Premier League agreed that this revenue will be donated to charity to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine. The beneficiary charities will be announced in due course after consultation with the club.”
The changes mean that Chelsea fans will be able to purchase tickets to future Premier League away fixtures, with any revenue given to the host team.
For future FA Cup and Champions League matches, fans will be able to purchase tickets but again, revenue will go via the Premier League to the relevant competition organiser or home club rather than Chelsea in order to remain compliant with current sanctions.
In the case of Women’s Super League fixtures, an exception will be made to allow fans to purchase home as well as away tickets as these games have not yet gone on general sale, and there is a risk of empty stands for these matches.
Future Chelsea Women’s FA Cup tickets will be sold in the same manner as men’s FA Cup tickets, with revenue being passed to the competition organiser.
A joint-owner of the Boston Celtics and Serie A side Atalanta has emerged as one of the parties who have tabled offers to buy Chelsea.
Sky News has learnt that Stephen Pagliuca, a prominent private equity executive who co-chairs Bain Capital, submitted a bid for the Premier League club ahead of the deadline late last week.
It was unclear on Thursday who Pagliuca’s partners in his bid for Chelsea are.
With wealth estimated in the hundreds of millions – rather than billions – of dollars, sports industry insiders said it was unlikely he had bid for Chelsea alone.
If Pagliuca does not make it to a shortlist of bidders expected to be selected imminently by Raine Group, the merchant bank handling the sale, he could seek to team up with one of the remaining consortia.
The field of publicly-disclosed bidders and co-investors has continued to expand since last Friday’s deadline, transforming the auction of Chelsea into potentially the most lucrative sale of a sports franchise in history.