CHELSEA can only spend £20,000 on travel for away matches plunging their Champions League defence into chaos.
The brutal restrictions throw their trip to Lille next week into major doubt.
Chelsea will be unable to fly to away matches on private jetsCredit: Getty
A £20,000 away travel budget has been set for the clubCredit: Getty
The clubs were hit with heavy punishments after Roman Abramovich was named on a UK Government sanctions list related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
And part of their ‘licence’ to operate as a club includes a limited budget for getting to fixtures on the road.
That is going to especially affect European matches as the reigning champions are hamstrung by the tight allowance.
Chelsea beat Lille 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 showdown in February.
But with the second leg scheduled for Wednesday night, the club would ordinarily fly out on a private plane the day before the match and stay in a luxury hotel.
However, that is likely to breach the £20,000 budget laid out in the ‘Russian regulations’.
Ironically, Lille is one of the closest teams to Chelsea on the continent – with the drive from the Cobham training ground just 180 miles to North-East France – an approximate three-and-a-half-hour drive.
The club confirmed the 7.30pm kick-off with a tweet of manager Thomas Tuchel mocked up as Norwich-based parody radio host Alan Partridge holding a ‘champions of the world’ mug with Carrow Road in the background.
The bombshell announcement sanctioning the club essentially places them in limbo.
It means the billionaire Russian oligarch will have all his assets frozen, be banned from coming to Britain and from doing any business here.
A special licence from the Treasury means that ‘football-related activities’ can go ahead – such as matches.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said Blues fans will ‘obviously’ be impacted but assured them their fixtures and tickets are safe.
Those impacts include Tuchel’s side being slapped with a transfer ban and are unable to give out any new contracts in a devastating blow.
They are now set to lose defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta on free transfers, with Chelsea unable to hand out contracts either.
The trio can strike pre-contract agreements at foreign sides, with Christensen and Azpilicueta already thought to be on the verge of joining Barcelona.
And there is now a distinct possibility of a points penalty, too, should the club enter administration.
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