Chelsea fans have been greeted with grim signs across Stamford Bridge today ahead of their Premier League clash with Newcastle reminding them that tickets will not be on sale for their next home fixture against Brentford on April 2.
The Blues are prohibited from selling match tickets due to the sanctions placed upon owner Roman Abramovich by the UK Government on Thursday due to his association with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea have been granted a special license by the UK Government to continue playing fixtures though have been cut off from earning more revenue and had limitations placed on spending.
Blues fans initially responded to the news by chanting Abramovich’s name during their 3-1 win over Norwich at Carrow Road on Thursday night, just hours after news had broke that the Russian billionaire had been sanctioned.
Now, as the club’s home fans descend upon west London today for their Premier League fixture with Newcastle, they’ve been reminded that their presence at future matches is no longer guaranteed.
Signage across the club’s stadium shop at Stamford Bridge tells fans that the store is closed and apologises for any inconvenience caused, while ‘no tickets available’ emblazons the fixtures board that greets fans as they pass through the turnstiles.
There are still tributes to Abramovich to be spotted around the ground though, notably the ‘Roman Empire’ banner that is still draped in one corner.
Those who will get a full view of the banner today include prospective new Chelsea owner Nick Candy, who has already begun making promises to the club’s supporters if he is successful in his bid.
Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley will also be in attendance to watch the game. She recently told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit that she thought it was unfair that Abramovich had decided to sell Chelsea following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.