Chelsea are facing complications in selling tickets to supporters with American Express still freezing ties with the club while there are sanctions on Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
Last week, the British government revised the terms of the license Chelsea are operating under to allow them to sell tickets to fans for upcoming games while Abramovich remains the club’s owner, despite being under a raft of sanctions.
It means Chelsea supporters can buy tickets for their quarter-final Champions League tie against Real Madrid and their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace at Wembley on April 17.
Chelsea are yet to put tickets on sale for those matches – the first leg against Real is next Wednesday at Stamford Bridge – and as it stands fans can only register MasterCard or Visa cards to their account for purchases.
The west London outfit are now allowed to sell tickets as long as no profit goes to the club – FA Cup tickets will, for example, see proceeds go to the competition organiser instead of the club itself.
But as it stands, fans are not given the option to pay with American Express. Abramovich is looking to sell Chelsea despite his assets being frozen by the government.
Similar to the terms with matchday tickets, a deal to sell can go through as long as no proceeds end up with the Russian, who was sanctioned because of his ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin. Sportsmail reported on Sunday that shortlisted prospective buyers have until April 11 to increase their offer to buy the club, which has been valued close to £3billion.
Parties had been under the impression that their first bids for Chelsea would be treated as final. But Raine – the merchant bank advising Chelsea with the sale – have confirmed to the groups that they are permitted to make new and improved bids.
Raine, Chelsea and the Government want a sale concluded by the end of April. Once an overall preferred bidder is selected, the government must give the all clear before they can take the Premier League owners and directors test. The fact there is now around five weeks until the anticipated sale provides more time for shortlisted parties to clear up any potential snags.