Chelsea will not be able to sell anymore tickets as owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It means only season ticket holders can attend games for the foreseeable future.

It is part of the government’s attempt to crackdown on wealthy Russians with assets in the UK.

The Chelsea owners is one of several oligarchs who have faced sanctions on Thursday.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said Vladimir Putin’s attacks on Ukraine involved “new levels of evil by the hour” and the Government had announced further sanctions “against individuals linked to the Russian Government”.

“This list includes Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club,” she said.

She acknowledged this would have an impact on the premiership side but a special licence would enable it to continue operating.

She said: “Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chlesea & its fans. We have been working hard to ensure the club & the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.

“To ensure the club can continue to compete and operate we are issuing a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches while, crucially, depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club.

“I know this brings some uncertainty, but the Government will work with the league & clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended. Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them.”

When did Abramovich buy Chelsea?

It comes after Abramovich announced he intends to sell the Premier League club with net proceeds from the sale being donated to “all victims of the war in Ukraine”.

The sale of the club will bring to an end 20 years of ownership with the Russian-Israeli billionaire buying Chelsea in 2003.

Abramovich is thought to be confident of achieving in the region of £3billion, while several interested parties are clearly in the stage of exploring lower bids. Chelsea’s current owner is determined the sale will follow standard procedure and timescale.

Sanctions will come into force before the sale of the club is able to take place.