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Abramovich: Chelsea’s credit card facilities suspended

Chelsea’s credit card facilities have been temporarily suspended while banks assess the implications of sanctions imposed on Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

The club received a special license to operate despite Abramovich having his assets frozen by the British government.

Banks want to assess licensing criteria to make sure it doesn’t breach government sanctions and Chelsea are unsure when the suspension will be lifted.

As part of the terms of the licence, Chelsea cannot receive money for match tickets which have not yet been sold, future gate receipts for FA Cup matches or merchandise from the club shop. club.

This will likely leave the club with a huge shortfall, with a monthly wage bill standing at £28m a month.

In talks with the government on Thursday and Friday, Chelsea lodged demands to change the terms of the license which would allow the club to receive money for ticket sales and also tighten its spending limits.

The current license allows £500,000 to be spent on home games and allows a limit of £20,000 for away travel.

Talks also took place regarding an amendment to the license regarding a potential sale of the club and included Raine Group – the American investment firm responsible for managing the sale before Abramovich was sanctioned.

On Friday, a spokesman for the Prime Minister later said the government was “in constant contact” with Chelsea and the Premier League and said the Blues could apply for an “amended licence”.

They added: “I believe Chelsea have said they will, and we will obviously work with the club and the league to consider any operationally necessary changes.”

READ ALSO: Abramovich: How UK Sanctions Will Affect Chelsea

The club have already sold tickets for their home game against Newcastle on Sunday and Chelsea are set to travel to Lille for a Champions League draw on Wednesday. The home match against Brentford on April 2 is sold out, but tickets can no longer be sold for subsequent matches.

It is unclear what would happen to gate receipts for the club’s FA Cup quarter-final against Championship side Middlesbrough on March 19, with 45 per cent going to each team.

Tuchel open to the message of peace

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has raised the possibility of his players wearing a ‘message for peace’ on their shirts, after mobile network provider Three suspended its shirt sponsorship deal with the club.

“Maybe the concern is more about finding enough shirts that we can play in, with the penalties,” added Tuchel. “But as long as we have enough shirts, and as long as the bus is full of fuel, we will arrive and we will be competitive.

“That’s what everyone can be sure of and that’s what we demand of ourselves and when it’s a big storm you dig in, you’re all together and then you stay strong and get through it.

“But messages for peace can never be wrong.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea fans have been urged to stop singing in support of Abramovich, after fans chanted the Russian’s name during Chelsea’s win at Norwich on Thursday.

Technology Minister Chris Philp told BBC Radio Four’s Today program that fans should remember that Abramovich has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose regime has committed “barbaric acts ” in Ukraine.