Shirt sponsor, Three, suspends deal with Chelsea amid Abramovich’s sanctions
Chelsea shirt sponsor Three have suspended their deal with the club amid the sanctions that have been issued upon Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea initially welcomed Abramovich to the club as their new owner in 2003 and multiple Premier League and Champions League titles have been won under his watch.
The owner’s tenure now appears to be coming to an end, though, with the Russian billionaire seeing his assets frozen due to his country’s ongoing military conflict with Ukraine.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale following the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but he can no longer accept any bids after being sanctioned by the UK government.
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The Blues’ main shirt sponsor Three subsequently announced that their relationship with the club was under “review”.
The British telecommunications and internet service provider, whose partnership with Chelsea generates £40 million per annum, have followed up by announcing the complete removal of their brand from the team jersey and around Stamford Bridge.
“We have requested Chelsea football club temporarily suspend our sponsorship of the club, including the removal of our brand from shirts and around the stadium until further notice,” a statement from the company reads.
“We recognise that this decision will impact the many Chelsea fans who follow their team passionately. However, we feel that given the circumstances, and the Government sanction that is in place, it is the right thing to do.”
Hyundai ‘assessing’ Chelsea situation
Chelsea’s sponsorship agreement with Hyundai is also now at risk, with the automotive manufacturer now “assessing” their relationship with the club in the wake of the sanctions imposed on Abramovich.
Hyundai has been the Global Automotive Partner of Chelsea since 2018, in a partnership that has reportedly been worth £10m per year, but they could yet follow Three’s lead and cut ties with the club.
A company statement has been released, which reads: “Hyundai has become one of the strongest partners in football over the years and the company supports the sport to be a force for good.
“We are currently assessing the situation with Chelsea FC.”