Government raises Chelsea travel budget for Middlesbrough cup tie

Chelsea have been handed a big boost for their FA Cup quarter-final with the Government raising the Blues’ travel budget for the Middlesbrough trip, the PA news agency understands.

he Stamford Bridge club have been hit with tough restrictions under the terms of their new operating licence in the wake of Roman Abramovich’s Government sanctions.

Chelsea cannot sell new tickets for matches as the Government restrictions stand, but the Blues are continuing to lobby Downing Street over a range of relaxations to help restore something close to normal operating procedures.


Roman Abramovich, pictured, has fallen under UK Government sanctions (Adam Davy/PA)

The Blues were initially hit with a £20,000 travel budget cap for each match under the new licence, but now the Government is understood to have lifted that limit – but initially only for Saturday’s FA Cup trip to Middlesbrough.

The average cost for a Premier League team to travel to Middlesbrough is understood to push beyond three times that £20,000 limit.

And now Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government is understood to have handed Chelsea a travel budget lift for their journey to the Riverside Stadium.

While Chelsea were unable to comment on the Government’s easing of restrictions, a club spokesman did thank Downing Street for regular dialogue over the Stamford Bridge club’s licence specifics.

A Chelsea spokesman said: “We are grateful for the Government’s continued attention to our requests for amendments to the licence.”

Owner Abramovich was sanctioned last week after Downing Street claimed to have proven the 55-year-old’s links to Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, with that process accelerated considerably by last week’s sanctions.

Abramovich’s UK assets are all frozen barring Chelsea, with the Blues able to continue operations but with stringent controls.

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