The telecommunications company have suspended their deal with the West London club after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government late last week
Chelsea have been put under pressure by Three to remove the telecommunications company’s logo from their club shirts.
The Blues are now operating under a special license – severely limiting their revenue streams – and shirt sponsors Three have suspended their partnership, worth £40million per annum. However, the logos have yet to be removed from the club’s shirts.
The West London club are desperate to secure a new owner amid a budget crisis, with their funds dictated by the British government in the wake of the sanctions imposed on Blues owner Roman Abramovich. The billionaire has had his assets frozen in the UK in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, although he continues to deny any links to president Vladimir Putin. The EU have subsequently imposed further sanctions on the oligarch.
On Saturday, the Premier League confirmed they had suspended Abramovich as director of the club. Barclays have also suspended the club’s bank account and there’s a possibility the Blues could face financial armageddon between now and the summer due to the precarious situation.
Yet despite the suspension of Three’s contract with Chelsea, their logo is still emblazoned on the club’s shirts and training kits. The telecommunications company has now released a statement confirming that they want this issue to be rectified.
Three says there “are ongoing issues with removing the Three logo from the shirts, as a result of kit supply issues and licence restrictions. We have requested that Chelsea reverts with a solution to this issue as soon as possible.”
Three has been Chelsea’s main shirt sponsor since the start of the 2020-21 season. The company’s branding is prominent across the club’s facilities and its decision to suspend the agreement comes as a significant blow to the Blues.
Korean car manufacturer Hyundai agreed on a five-year deal to be the club’s shirt sleeve sponsor in 2018 but also confirmed it has suspended marketing and communication activities with the club. A statement from Hyundai confirmed: “In the current circumstances, we have taken the decision to suspend our marketing and communication activities with the Club until further notice.”
Abramovich is hoping to sell the club and had announced his intentions to part ways with Chelsea after 19 years at the helm. The sanctions have made a sale more difficult, although the government have confirmed they are still hoping to force through a sale in a way that would see Abramovich make no profit from it.
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