Chelsea WILL be able to finish season after Government ease terms of 'licence' to let club to pay £28m-a-month wage bill
THE Government has eased the terms of Chelsea’s “licence” to do business – allowing the club to finish the season.
Club bosses had grown increasingly concerned about their limited reserves evaporating after owner Roman Abramovich was placed on the UK sanctions list on Thursday.
The stringent terms of the “licence” granted by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation left the club facing a knife-edge future just to get through to the end of the campaign.
But as Abramovich was banned from being a director of the club by the Premier League, the OFSI announced a revised licence was now in operation.
A DCMS spokesman said: "We have said all along that we would engage with Chelsea to understand what is needed to allow upcoming games to be played to minimise the impact on the Leagues, football pyramid and fans.
“Following extensive engagement with the club on the details of their structures since the sanction was announced, we have made some further operational amendments to the licence to do so."
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The new terms will allow the club to utilise payments due from broadcasting companies and any prize money earned to meet its outgoings.
That should see the £28m monthly wage bill covered for the final three months of the campaign.
DCMS officials have lifted the £500,000 cap on matchday costs to £900,000 per game, meeting Chelsea’s assessment of the real cost of staging them.
And while the current limit of £20,000 on away travel expenses remains, for now, the Government is ready to increase that substantially if Chelsea convert their 2-0 first-leg advantage over Lille in the last 16 of the Champions League into quarter-final progression this week.
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For now, though, the ban on the club selling seats in addition to the season tickets already sold has not been lifted, although that is also likely to be the subject of further discussion.
Chelsea anticipate 44,000 full houses for both tomorrow’s game with Newcastle and the match against Brentford on April 2, which were both sold out before Thursday’s bombshell.
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