August 19, 2022

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What Chelsea’s £20,000 travel cap means for Champions League fixtures

2 min read

Chelsea may be forced to make their way to European fixtures on commercial flights and stay in cheaper hotels after they were hit with a £20,000 budget cap on away game travel on Thursday. The hard-hitting measures were introduced as a result of the UK government’s decision to hand a number of sanctions down to Roman Abramovich in light of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Chelsea are no longer able to sell match-day tickets, merchandise or renegotiate contracts as a result of the new measures.

They will also be forced to spend no more than £20,000 on travel to away matches as part of their ‘licence’ to continue operating as a club.

The restrictions are likely to cause plenty of issues for the Blues, who are due to play against Lille in France in the Champions League next week.

Chelsea players and staff would typically fly out as a group on a private plane and stay in a luxury hotel on the nights before and after the match.

However, this will not be possible under the new budget cap, which could force the European champions to make the trip on a commercial airliner or even a coach.

Chelsea will also be facing the prospect of spending their nights in cheaper accommodation in order to work around the restrictive measures in play.

Player Care Group founder Hugo Scheckter has warned the Blues that even a regular Premier League away trip would be likely to exceed the £20,000 cost cap as things stand.

“A usual Premier League away game with a flight, security, food, hotels etc would be about £30,000,” he tweeted.

“Going abroad, don’t see how they can do anything other than either commercial flights or drive their bus & significant drop in standard of hotel.”

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how the situation at Chelsea will unfold over the coming weeks and months in the wake of their new restrictions.

Abramovich has owned the Blues since 2003 but put the club up for sale last week amid the threat of being hit with sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

His UK assets have been frozen, meaning that he will only be able to sell Chelsea if he allows the government to handle the process and decide where the funds will go.

It seems as though Abramovich may have little alternative than to play along in order to avoid a ‘doomsday’ alternative in which the club would remain in a state of paralysis.

Boris Johnson welcomed the sanctions handed down to Abramovich and a handful of other Russian oligarchs on Thursday by underlining the severity of the ongoing military situation in Ukraine.

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