Chelsea outline doomsday scenario from Roman Abramovich sanctions as club’s credit cards are frozen

Chelsea have laid out the doomsday scenario to the Government of how seriously the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich will affect the club in a desperate bid to avoid having to shut parts of Stamford Bridge and ensure they can complete the season.

Telegraph Sport can reveal that under the current license that allows the club to operate while Abramovich’s assets are frozen and bank merchant Raine decides on a preferred buyer, Chelsea would not be able to pay for enough security, stewarding and catering to keep all sections of Stamford Bridge open. It comes as the club’s headaches were compounded when a set of Barclaycard credit cards belonging to Chelsea were temporarily suspended yesterday amid reaction to Abramovich’s sanctions.

In the very worst-case scenario, Chelsea do not believe they would be able to complete the season under the current terms of the license which they are hopeful will be reviewed in the coming days.

Chelsea have argued that the club needs ticket sales to bring in enough revenue to remain operational and that the £20,000 cap on travel would not have even covered the cost of going to Norwich on Thursday night, let alone traveling overseas for Champions League games.

Under the sanctions that were imposed on the club on Thursday morning, Chelsea were told that the cost of hosting a home game must not exceed £500,000, but the Government have been informed that it costs between £800,000 to £1million to stage a Premier League match.

Chelsea have appealed to the Government that they could not provide security, stewarding and catering in some areas of the ground and not others, insisting that their only option would be to shut areas or full stands within Stamford Bridge.

As part of that appeal, Chelsea have insisted that allowing them to sell tickets and bring in operational revenue would not provide any profit for Abramovich. They have also argued that the current license needlessly punishes supporters and undermines the club’s cultural importance.

The license is not expected to be amended in time for Sunday’s game against Newcastle United, which means supporters are set for a very different Stamford Bridge experience.

There will be no official program on sale outside Stamford Bridge, as only subscribers or those who have already purchased hospitality packages will be able to get one. That means the program kiosks will be shut and those who usually sell them have been stood down.

Chelsea will continue to pay staff members, even if they have been stood down, but freelance and contract staff will not be paid.

The club shop will remain shut and Chelsea were on Friday making a decision over what will be displayed on the front of the players’ shirts at the weekend. The club’s main shirt sponsor Three have suspended their deal and asked for their logo to be taken off, but Chelsea do not have a stock of blank shirts to use. That means the players are likely to either still wear the Three logo or it will be covered up.


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