MP for Chelsea and Fulham Writes to Residents
Greg Hands at a vaccination event at Stamford Bridge last year wiith Chairman Bruce Buck and NW London NHS head Julian Redhead. Picture: Facebook
As the MP for Chelsea and Fulham, I have long appreciated the importance of the role played by Chelsea Football Club in our local community, and for its huge fan base.
I share the concern that many fans of the club and the wider football community may have about where the recent developments leave Chelsea's supporters and players.
I have personally engaged extensively with Ministers and officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and with HM Treasury, who administer the sanctions regime.
As you will know, the Government has published a licence which authorises a number of football-related activities to continue at Chelsea. This includes permissions for the club to continue playing matches and other football related activity which will in turn protect the Premier League, the wider football pyramid, loyal fans and other clubs. This licence will only allow certain explicitly named actions to ensure the designated individual - the party to the sanctions - is not able to circumvent UK sanctions.
The licence will be kept under constant review and the Government will work closely with the football authorities.
I have also been in contact with other Government Ministers and officials on changes made to the license so far, to enable more activities. I continue to engage.
As I said on the first day of the sanctions, we need to punish Vladimir Putin and his associates and the Russian war machine, not fans or my local Chelsea & Fulham community.
I appreciate that these changes do naturally carry some uncertainty, but it is welcome news that the club can continue to compete and operate. For example, the special licence allows fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders able to attend matches while, crucially, depriving the owner of benefiting from his ownership of the club.
Further changes to the license regime are likely to be needed. As the local MP, I will keep a very close eye on this and I will continue to engage.
Football clubs are a significant part of our cultural identity and both our local clubs contribute to our community in Chelsea & Fulham.
I have been the MP for the club since 2005 and am keenly aware of the importance of the club to the local community and the local, national and worldwide fan base.
I post updates frequently on Twitter www.twitter.com/greghands
The full Government licence can be found here .
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham
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March 21, 2022