Chelsea are gripped by fear of going bankrupt with club officials battling to avoid administration


Chelsea fear they won’t be able to pay their bills despite government fine-tuning to help them finish the season and now fear they could end up in administration and face a nine-point penalty if further changes are not made.

Payday for players and staff is April 1, with Chelsea’s monthly wage bill being around £28million. Although there are reservations about paying players next month, at present Chelsea’s only cash flow is their Premier League broadcast revenue and prize money from UEFA and FA to progress in their respective cup tournaments, the latter being allowed by Saturday’s clarifications. .

Hyundai became the latest sponsor to suspend marketing activities with Chelsea on Saturday, while the Premier League disqualified owner Roman Abramovich as club manager as the turmoil engulfing the club continued.

Manager Thomas Tuchel continually stresses to the players the need to focus on what they can control, on the pitch, but there remains some shock in the dressing room, with players uncertain about their own future and trajectory of the club under new ownership.

Lawyers have been consulted by most agents representing Chelsea players to see under what circumstances the club would be in breach of contract.

Chelsea fear they won’t be able to pay their bills after Roman Abramovich sanction

Despite some easing of government sanctions on Saturday, Chelsea are still unable to sell unsold tickets for upcoming games, which would be crucial to generating enough cash, with sources close to the club indicating that it will go into the red very quickly and that the club would be in serious danger unless the government gave in.

It is understood the government will reconsider the request early next week and insist they have no desire to steer the club into administration. Both sides are focused on a quick sale, with investment bank Raine Group taking offers for potential buyers.

The government will issue another amendment to the license terms to allow a sale and are happy to work with Raine Group and accept their preferred bidder.

Coach Thomas Tuchel was forced to answer awkward questions about the club's future

Coach Thomas Tuchel was forced to answer awkward questions about the club’s future

Abramovich will not oppose a sale, with sources close to the owner insisting he had already agreed he would not benefit from the sale by promising war victims the proceeds.

Under the sanctions, the government will ultimately decide where the funds go.

The favorites are all North American sports franchise owners: Todd Boehly, co-owner of the LA Dodgers, who has partnered with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and, according to Sky, London property developer Jonathan Goldstein; the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs; and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.

The daily mail also revealed that London property developer Nick Candy still wants to form a consortium.

The players are uncertain about their own future and the trajectory of the club under new owners

The players are uncertain about their own future and the trajectory of the club under new owners

Silence in the conference room of the Blues

Roman Abramovich has four key lieutenants on the Chelsea board and none have spoken in public since the Ukraine invasion, leaving manager Thomas Tuchel to answer questions.

Bruce Buck, President

The New Yorker first met Abramovich through his work as a European mergers and acquisitions lawyer. Buck advised Abramovich’s takeover of Chelsea in 2003 and was named club chairman a year later. Also on the charitable trust to which Abramovich handed over management of the club.

What he says: “Roman doesn’t much like going to black-tie dinners and things like that.” He tends to hang out with people he’s known since his twenties, and they’re usually his Russian friends.

Guy Laurence, General Manager

Mancunian and former CEO of Vodafone who joined the club in 2018. Credited with bringing in the £120m shirt sponsorship with mobile provider Three, but much of Laurence’s hard work to improve the commercial operation is quickly compromised by the fallout of government sanctions.

What they said: Low profile but apparently a terrific operator, Laurence was described as the “British Tony Soprano” by a newspaper in Canada, where he previously worked. He is also said to have beaten Bruce Willis in an arm wrestle.

Eugene Tenenbaum, Director

Abramovich’s right-hand man and an adviser since his pre-Chelsea days. Born in Soviet-era Ukraine, Tenenbaum is also a director of Evraz Mining Company, the steel company in which Abramovich was a major shareholder until last month. Its material would have been used in Russian tanks.

What he said: “Roman likes to figure things out. I think the reason he likes football after all these years is that it’s not a formula. It’s not an algorithm. People find it exhilarating because you can’t control it.

Marina Granovskaya, director

Worked with Abramovich at Russian oil company Seftnet before following him to Stamford Bridge. Also a key advisor, Granovskaia’s main responsibility is the transfer of players as well as the recruitment of personnel. An awards ceremony organized by Italian newspaper Tuttosport named its best European football club manager in December.

What they said: “I have so much respect for Marina,” Granovskaia praised Dick Law, the former Arsenal sporting director. “She was always a direct shooter.”

Government sanctions against Abramovich had previously allowed the club to pay staff only and imposed a limit of £500,000 to stage a game at Stamford Bridge, an amount which is around half of the necessary expenditure for a home game. This limit has now been increased to £900,000.

Contractors and temporary workers have also been added to the list of staff who can be paid, which will make it easier for Chelsea to organize home games and pay expenses for academy players, parents and rent. host families with whom the young players stay.

Previously this was unclear, leaving the club in a state of paralysis over who could legally be paid, and unsure whether they could order taxis for casual staff or have matchday hosts in the press room.

Importantly, although there is no increase in the amount the club are allowed to spend traveling to matches, which remains at £20,000. That won’t be a problem for Lille on Wednesday, who are prepaid, but £20,000 wouldn’t cover the cost of a plane to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup next Saturday.

The club's megastore has been forced to close and officials are trying to avoid administration

The club’s megastore has been forced to close and officials are trying to avoid administration

While the government appears to be flexible on travel costs for future Champions League games if Chelsea progress, there is no indication that the limit will be raised for domestic games, meaning Chelsea players will have to travel. get used to training and traveling by coach for away games.

Chelsea’s corporate credit card account was suspended by Barclaycard last week who wanted to assess whether they were in breach of sanctions by providing a service, but Chelsea are confident this will soon be reinstated.

Chelsea sponsors are distancing themselves from the club, but the players are expected to continue wearing the Three logo today, even though the telecom company has requested that they not do so, as the patch on the logo turned out to be inconvenient and the chemical sprays to remove it leave. the shirt a mess.

Chelsea sponsors, such as Three, have recently sought to distance themselves from the club

Chelsea sponsors, such as Three, have recently sought to distance themselves from the club

Nike cannot provide new jerseys without a sponsor for fear of violating the terms of the sanctions.

A spokesman for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: ‘We have always said that we will engage with Chelsea to understand what is needed to allow matches to be played in order to minimize the impact on leagues, football pyramid and fans.

“Following extensive engagement with the club on the details of their structures, we have made some operational changes to the license to do so. We are open to a sale of the club and would consider applying for a license to allow this to happen.

What will the game look like?

Who is authorized to attend the match?

Chelsea season ticket holders and those who bought tickets before March 10 (the day Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government). So there will be Chelsea and Newcastle fans in the ground today.

However, after today’s match, it’s unclear whether away fans will be present at Chelsea games.

What kit will Chelsea wear?

They will wear their usual shirts. Their sponsors, Three, left but there was not enough time to produce new shirts.

Will there be a program for sale?

Not on the ground today. The club has no right to earn money from them.

Will the club shop be open?

No, it has been closed indefinitely.

Will fans be able to buy food and drinks?

Yes. In-field refreshments will be available for purchase as usual.

Will match day staff be paid?

Yes. Stewards and other stadium staff working on today’s game will be paid.


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