The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has called for the Government to make further changes to the club’s special licence – including members being allowed to buy tickets again for home Premier League games – so as not to continue to “punish” fans.
The club was put up for sale by billionaire owner Roman Abramovich at the start of March in the wake of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
However, Abramovich was subsequently sanctioned by Downing Street over his ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, with his assets frozen.
The CST is deeply disappointed that we are yet to receive a response from @HuddlestonNigel, @NadineDorries or @DCMS on important issues – including clarity on ticketing.— Chelsea Supporters’ Trust⭐️⭐️ (@ChelseaSTrust) March 29, 2022
Chelsea have been able to continue to operate, but under strict conditions, one of which means the club are not permitted to sell any new tickets to supporters for home Premier League matches.
However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport later announced an amendment for away fans, cup games and women’s fixtures – provided Chelsea do not receive any revenue.
Blues fans will be able to purchase tickets to future Premier League away fixtures, with revenue going to the home club.
Visiting fans will also be able to buy tickets for Chelsea’s remaining league home fixtures, with the money going to the Premier League.
For future FA Cup and Champions League matches – including the semi-final against Crystal Palace at Wembley and the European tie with Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge – fans will be able to purchase tickets with revenue collected by the relevant competition organiser or home club.
Despite the changes, no further home tickets will be made available to fans at Chelsea’s remaining Premier League home fixtures. Season-ticket holders and those purchased before the sanctions were imposed will still be able to attend.
The CST also previously set out a number of expectations of the new owners, including a ‘golden share’, which would essentially give fans the right to exercise a veto over certain important decisions, but feel progress on engagement with the Government has been slow.
“We welcome the announcement made by Chelsea with regard to ticket sales as a step in the right direction. However, we still believe further amends must be made to the special licence so as not to punish supporters,” a CST statement read.
An update for supporters on the ticket sales process for the next few games. 🎟️— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 29, 2022
“Since our meeting with the Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston MP & DCMS officials on 10th March, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust has written to the Minister more than once, including calling for: their support for the implementation of the recommendations of the Fan Led Review in any sale of Chelsea FC, including a golden share for fans; the Government to work with Chelsea FC to ensure that supporters are not punished and allow members to buy tickets for all games for the rest of the season.
“The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust is deeply disappointed that we are yet to receive any response from the Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston on these pressing issues.
“During our meeting, he assured Chelsea supporters, that “fans should not be punished” – we therefore call upon the Government to provide clarity and rectify this situation with regard to ticketing as a matter of urgency.
“The Government must also note the impact the terms of the special licence have had on dozens of ordinary peoples livelihoods & local businesses who have lost work as a result – and we once again call for all parties to ensure that the sale of Chelsea FC is swift and transparent, to minimise the uncertainty to these individuals and all Chelsea supporters.
“The sale of Chelsea FC is a real opportunity for Government to step up and prove it is serious about improving football governance.
“The Government, the Raine Group and Chelsea FC must ensure that the sale is conducted with the best interests of supporters at heart, and includes safeguards to protect the club’s heritage through a golden share, greater supporter representation, waiving the loan to the Chelsea Pitch Owners, and a commitment to upholding the inclusive values of Chelsea FC and the diversity of its global supporter base.”
The DCMS has been contacted for comment.
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