EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea tell fans they can’t even hand out FREE tickets to a memorial service for club legend Peter Bonetti – because it’s still classified as a ‘transaction’ and BANNED under government sanctions
- Chelsea have said they cannot give free tickets to a memorial service for Peter Bonetti
- The event honoring legendary goalkeeper Bonetti was scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m
- But even giving away tickets for free is officially classified as a “transaction”.
- The Blues are under government sanctions affecting owner Roman Abramovich
- The sanctions were imposed after Abramovich’s country, Russia, invaded Ukraine
Chelsea fans are now being told they will not be able to attend a memorial service for club icon Peter Bonetti this week, although tickets should be given away free of charge due to government sanctions.
Nicknamed ‘The Cat’ for his quick reflexes and elegant playing style, the former goalkeeper made 729 appearances for the Blues and enjoys legendary status at the club.
A memorial to Bonetti, who died in April 2020 aged 78, will be arranged at Stamford Bridge at 2pm on Friday. It looks like the memorial will take place and those who bought tickets before the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich last week can still attend.
However, Chelsea are now telling fans they can no longer issue free tickets to the event and have deleted the page on their website announcing details of the memorial.
Staff have been instructed that offering tickets, even free ones, violates the severe financial sanctions against Abramovich as it still counts as a “transaction”.
Chelsea have announced they cannot give away free tickets to a memorial service for Peter Bonetti (pictured) as it violates sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich
The service for “The Cat” Bonetti will be at 2pm on Friday at Stamford Bridge
However, the club has removed the page on its website announcing details of the memorial
‘The Cat’ Bonetti’s stats on his career
What Chelsea can and can’t do now after Abramovich sanctions
- Play all their games, home and away; Pay the salaries of players and staff; providing stewards, security and food and drink for fans; Receive income from TV broadcasts; The club sale could potentially still happen as long as Abramovich doesn’t benefit financially.
- Sell tickets to home or away fans – only existing ticket holders may enter; Agree to new transfers or contracts; sell merchandise at the stadium or online; Spend more than £20,000 on travel.
Abramovich was hampered by sanctions following his native country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian billionaire oligarch is one of the wealthy businessmen aiming to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Abramovich has denied he is closely associated.
The sanctions dictate that while Chelsea can continue to operate and play games, Abramovich is not allowed to benefit from his ownership of the club.
That means they can’t sell tickets, sell merchandise in the club shop, spend more than £20,000 traveling to away games or spend tickets at Bonetti’s memorial now.
However, existing season ticket holders can still participate in upcoming games.
Manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed his side will be unable to fly to Middlesbrough ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-finals and will therefore face a grueling 10-hour round-trip bus journey.
The club have also been widely criticized for their “pathetic, menacing and bizarre” attempt to force the quarter-final game behind closed doors on grounds of “sporting integrity” as its fans are not allowed to attend.
sports mail exclusively reported on Monday that the two hundred investors interested in buying Chelsea must make cash offers, guarantee club staff jobs and disclose their motive for buying the Blues by Friday’s deadline.
Parties interested in a Chelsea bid have been advised to provide a detailed background report on all investors amid growing concerns about adequate club ownership.
It looks like property developer Nick Candy, a consortium led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and a group led by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton are among the most serious contenders, while news of £2.7bn broke on Monday offers from the Saudi Media Group have surfaced.
Meanwhile, New York-based merchant bank Raine is advising Chelsea on the sale sports mail understands that Blues Director Marina Granovskaia also offers interested groups guidance during the process.
Bidders are requested to include proof of funding, a full list of consultants, a business plan and a timeline for completion with the bids. But interestingly, potential buyers are also asked to provide their motivations behind the offer and a detailed account of the background of all investors.
The government wants a quick and hassle-free sale to prevent further disruption.