CHELSEA will lobby the Government to lift its bizarre ban on them selling tickets to home Premier League games.
The club is baffled by the decision to single out home league matches when they now have the go-ahead to flog seats at Champions League games.
Chelsea can’t work out why there’s a ticket-sale ban for just home Prem gamesCredit: AP
The Department of Media, Culture and Sport lifted the suspension on all European games and domestic away games but not for league matches at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea is operating under a special licence at present due to sanctions imposed on outgoing owner Roman Abramovich because of his association to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The restrictions are designed to stop the Russian billionaire from earning any money out of the club.
Chelsea have already agreed in conjunction with the Premier League that proceeds from all ticket sales will go to charity.
The 14,000 seats which are sold on a game by game basis brings in around £200,000 each time.
The next home game, against Brentford on April 2, is the last one for which tickets were sold before the sanctions on Abramovich kicked in.
After that gaps will be clearly visible in the stands at 41,500 capacity Stamford Bridge as the suspension kicks in.
Chelsea plans to go back to the Government to seek further guidance and clarification in the hope of a U-turn.
Fans have reacted angrily to the confusing move by the Government.
The Chelsea Supporters Trust issued a statement which read: “The Trust will urgently seek clarification from the DCMS & Chelsea FC on why CFC members will not be able to purchase tickets to home Premier League fixtures at Stamford Bridge.
“The sanctions were not brought in to punish supporters – this decision is illogical and unfounded.”
‘SPORTING INTEGRITY’ REASONS
The Government has adopted this stance for what they consider to be ‘sporting integrity’ reasons.
Chelsea will be allowed to take travelling supporters to away games to balance the atmosphere with the home crowd.
But as there will be around 28,000 season ticket holders inside Stamford Bridge for home Premier League games they see no need to allow more in.
Visiting teams can come with a full allocation of support in the ground’s Shed End.
Champions League games are not covered by season tickets which is why Chelsea are allowed to sell them openly for games.