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Chelsea allowed to sell select tickets for remainder of season after new licence from UK government

London: Chelsea fans will be able to attend Champions League and FA Cup matches for the rest of the season under the terms of a new licence granted to the club by the UK government.

The European champions have been hit by a series of restrictions since owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government over his alleged links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Among those had been a ban on tickets not purchased prior to the sanctions being imposed on 10 March.

Chelsea host Real Madrid for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on 6 April and face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals on the weekend of 16/17 April at Wembley.

The new licence allows tickets for those matches and any further Champions League, FA Cup or Women’s Super League matches to be sold with the proceeds going to the relevant competition organiser.

Chelsea fans will also be able to buy tickets for away matches in the Premier League and to away fans for home league matches.

However, they are still not permitted to sell new tickets to home fans for league matches.

“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,” said British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.

“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.”

Chelsea’s parent company Fordstam Limited has also been allowed to inject up to £30 million ($39 million) into the club to allow it to meet its financial demands until the end of the season.

Last season Chelsea had a £28 million a month wage bill and the club’s technical and performance advisor Petr Cech warned they may not have made it to the end of the season without an easing of the licence granted.

Abramovich’s investment fuelled an unprecedented era of success for the Blues as they won 19 trophies in the past 19 years, including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.

The Russian billionaire put the club up for sale prior to being sanctioned, but the process to find a new owner has continued with the deadline for final bids to be lodged with American merchant bank Raine passing on 18 March.

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