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The embattled Chelsea Football Club was thrown a lifeline last night as Ministers agreed it could be sold by its sanctioned Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

Tough restrictions were eased to allow the sale to go through after the 55-year-old oligarch reportedly agreed that he would not receive any proceeds from the £3 billion deal.

Abramovich was also said to have agreed to write off £1.5 billion debt he is owed by Chelsea, which he bought in 2003.

Chelsea sources had warned the club was two weeks away from bankruptcy after Ministers hit Abramovich with sanctions due to his close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich (pictured) was said to have agreed to write off £1.5 billion debt he is owed by Chelsea, which he bought in 2003.

Abramovich (pictured) was said to have agreed to write off £1.5 billion debt he is owed by Chelsea, which he bought in 2003.

Abramovich (pictured) was said to have agreed to write off £1.5 billion debt he is owed by Chelsea, which he bought in 2003.

There was alarm from fans that the sanctions imposed on Friday would mean Abramovich could not sell the club, leaving it paralysed. The club’s bank accounts were frozen by Barclays.

But following crisis talks yesterday, the Government eased the terms of a ‘special licence’ to allow Chelsea to carry on trading in a limited capacity. 

A 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.’

Sources said the new terms will allow the club to use payments due from broadcasting companies and any prize money earned to meet its outgoings. That should see the £28 million monthly wage bill covered for the rest of the season.

Chelsea will also be allowed to spend up to £900,000 per home match at Stamford Bridge to cover costs such as paying stadium staff and catering. Discussions were ongoing last night about whether Chelsea can sell match tickets in addition to the season tickets already sold.

Chelsea will also be allowed to spend up to £900,000 per home match at Stamford Bridge to cover costs such as paying stadium staff and catering

Chelsea will also be allowed to spend up to £900,000 per home match at Stamford Bridge to cover costs such as paying stadium staff and catering

Chelsea will also be allowed to spend up to £900,000 per home match at Stamford Bridge to cover costs such as paying stadium staff and catering

Chelsea sources had warned the club was two weeks away from bankruptcy after Ministers hit Abramovich with sanctions due to his close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin

Chelsea sources had warned the club was two weeks away from bankruptcy after Ministers hit Abramovich with sanctions due to his close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin

Chelsea sources had warned the club was two weeks away from bankruptcy after Ministers hit Abramovich with sanctions due to his close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin

However, the club will be limited to £20,000 to spend on travel to and from fixtures. It means the first-team squad may have to swap luxury hotels and first-class travel for budget options as it competes for European silverware in the Champions League.

Abramovich has appointed the New York Merchant Bank Raine Group to sell Chelsea for £3 billion.

More than 300 parties are said to have expressed an interest, including US billionaire Todd Boehly, British property magnate Nick Candy and Turkish tycoon Muhsin Bayrak, but problems were mounting for Abramovich last night.

Car maker Hyundai became the latest firm to ditch Chelsea, axeing its £10 million-a-year deal to sponsor the players’ shirt sleeves. It came after mobile phone firm Three suspended its shirt sponsorship, thought to be worth £40 million a year.

It was also reported that the oligarch’s £150 million London mansion, which is on Crown Estate land in Kensington, could be seized by the Queen if he fails to keep up his ground rent payments.

Source: Daily Mail

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