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Chelsea: Middlesbrough reveal they will donate gate receipts from FA Cup tie to people of Ukraine

Daily Mail Online

Middlesbrough have announced they will be donating their share of the gate receipts from Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Chelsea to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

The Championship club are set to face Thomas Tuchel’s club world champions in the quarter-finals of the competition, a tie which now contains significant needle following a row between the two sides earlier this week. 

After their owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British Government last week over his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who sent shockwaves rippling through Europe by invading Ukraine at the end of February, Chelsea are currently unable to sell new match tickets as part of a series of restrictions which have left them in financial limbo.

They have been granted a special licence by the Government to continue football operations, but failed to amend the terms of the licence in time to flog tickets for Saturday’s Cup fixture at the Riverside Stadium.

The Blues, who only have around 600 away season ticket holders and hospitality season ticket holders attending this weekend, then released a controversial statement on Tuesday calling for the FA to move the tie behind closed doors in the spirit of ‘sporting integrity’.

Their statement sparked widespread outrage throughout the country, with Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson branding them ‘rotten’ and ‘abhorrent’.

Chelsea were then forced to perform a humiliating U-turn and withdraw their request later that evening. 

In the wake of the dispute, Middlesbrough now plan to put their share of the gate receipts on Saturday towards helping the people of Ukraine.

A Boro statement read on Friday: ‘On behalf of the people of Middlesbrough and Teesside, Middlesbrough Football Club will donate its share of the gate receipts from the Emirates FA Cup sixth round tie against Chelsea to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Middlesbrough will donate gate receipts from their clash with Chelsea to the people of Ukraine Middlesbrough will donate gate receipts from their clash with Chelsea to the people of Ukraine

Middlesbrough will donate gate receipts from their clash with Chelsea to the people of Ukraine

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK after Russia invaded Ukraine Blues owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK after Russia invaded Ukraine

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK after Russia invaded Ukraine

As part of those sanctions, they were unable to sell tickets for this weekend's FA Cup fixture As part of those sanctions, they were unable to sell tickets for this weekend's FA Cup fixture

As part of those sanctions, they were unable to sell tickets for this weekend’s FA Cup fixture 

‘The club’s Member of Parliament Andy McDonald will assist with due diligence to ensure best delivery and maximum impact.’ 

Saturday’s match now has some added spice after Chelsea’s short-lived request to move it behind closed doors, which was condemned by Gibson, the Government and even their own Supporters’ Trust.

Gibson told The Telegraph at the time: ’The words “sporting integrity” and “Chelsea” don’t belong in the same sentence. For 19 years, money has fuelled the success of Chelsea Football Club.   

‘Our fans, our club, our players and our manager have done nothing wrong. If Chelsea were to succeed, and the game be played behind closed doors, does that mean all the Premier League games have to be played behind closed doors? And all the Champions League games? And for what reason? Because of their owner, all the rest of us have to suffer.

‘This has to be kicked out and [Chelsea chairman] Bruce Buck should be kicked out.’

Chelsea then called for the game to be played behind closed doors, which infuriated Boro chairman Steve Gibson (pictured) Chelsea then called for the game to be played behind closed doors, which infuriated Boro chairman Steve Gibson (pictured) Gibson said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck (pictured) should be kicked out Gibson said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck (pictured) should be kicked out

Chelsea then called for the game to be played behind closed doors, which infuriated Boro chairman Steve Gibson (left)

Boro will now be donating their share of the gate receipts to humanitarian aid in Ukraine Boro will now be donating their share of the gate receipts to humanitarian aid in Ukraine

Boro will now be donating their share of the gate receipts to humanitarian aid in Ukraine

Ukraine has been under attack from Eastern European neighbours Russia for the past month Ukraine has been under attack from Eastern European neighbours Russia for the past month

Ukraine has been under attack from Eastern European neighbours Russia for the past month

Ticketing issues were not Chelsea’s o…

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