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Temporary confusion Re suspended Chelsea bank accounts due to Licence regulations

Could’ve been more clearer

Reading Women v Chelsea Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

If you read some of the latest headlines, you might see that Chelsea Football Club are apparently heading for financial ruin and collapse after our bank accounts were frozen, credit cards canceled, and Thomas Tuchel was out there pushing the team bus now, rather than just driving it.

Can’t even buy petrol/gas for the team bus (which fuel, ironically, would probably be sourced from Russia but I digress)!

Fortunately, as it’s often the case, the headlines and the dramatic reporting is not quite the actual truth of the matter, or at least as far as we can surmise the actual truth of the matter.

The source of the confusion lies in the provisions of the General Licence that was issued to Chelsea, which allows the club to continue operating despite being a frozen UK-based asset of Roman Abramovich. Normally, such frozen assets cannot do any business with other UK-based companies, such as banks. But the Licence provides exemptions for certain expenditures, such as wages, taxes, and certain amounts for travel and matchdays, and thus the club can do business in pursuits of these exemptions with other UK-based companies. (Oh, and next week’s trip to Lille has already been paid for.)

Basically, we can spend our monies on the things we’re allowed to spend them on, and banks are allowed to let us use our monies on the things we’re allowed to use them on. (And Chelsea are working with the government to expand these restrictions to make them more reasonable insofar as actually running a top level football club.)

Since this is a fairly unprecedented situation, those involved are understandably wary and careful of staying onside of what’s allowed and what’s not. That can take a little bit of time to sort out, but this is unlikely to turn into any actual crisis — or any greater crisis than the one we’re already dealing with.

Keep calm and carry on, as they (used to) say.