Three, Chelsea’s shirt sponsor, have suspended their £40m deal after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government

After the UK government sanctioned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the club’s shirt sponsor Three suspended their £40m deal with the Blues.

Under the terms of the sentence announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Abramovich’s assets would be frozen and he would be banned from travel. Chelsea’s future, including the club’s huge sponsorship deals, has been thrown into doubt following the announcement.

About the suspension of their agreement

During the coronavirus outbreak, Chelsea made £154million in trade deals last year. Before Covid arrived, the club had received £200million in sponsorship.

Analysts warn other sponsors could quickly follow Three’s lead, removing their crest from shirts until further notice and reviewing their partnership with the club to avoid being associated with an accused Russian businessman to take advantage of his relationship with President Vladimir Putin.

Three UK’s suspension comes just hours after the company announced support packages for Ukrainian immigrants landing in the UK, including 30-day prepaid SIM cards.

Following Putin’s ruthless invasion of Ukraine, which began two weeks ago today, brands around the world have been keen to dissociate themselves from Russia. The situation in Ukraine is deteriorating daily, with Putin being accused of war crimes after his forces repeatedly shelled communities, killed civilians and destroyed a children’s hospital.

Hours after Abramovich was sanctioned, “Three” was the first to blink. According to The Athletic, the company has admitted they are reviewing the situation and are in talks with Chelsea FC.

About other brands

Other big companies, like Nike, who have a £55million kit deal with Chelsea, as well as Hyundai and Hublot, who all have deals worth over £15million, will have to decide. what to do next.

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The Chelsea owner has already been penalized and the club heavily reprimanded after fans shouted Abramovich’s name during the one-minute applause for Ukraine ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Burnley at Turf Moor.

During periods of solidarity with Ukraine, the Chelsea Supporter’s Trust had to ask all Chelsea fans not to sing the name of owner Roman Abramovich. Following Abramovich’s conviction, Chelsea are now among the blocked assets. The government has announced that it will issue a special license that will allow fixtures to be terminated, employees to be paid and current ticket holders to attend matches.

Season ticket holders can still attend matches, but no more tickets will be sold, no transfers will be allowed and the club shop will close. Additionally, the club are only allowed to spend £20,000 on away travel. The permit is valid until May 31.

Abramovich’s planned £3billion sale of the club, which was leaked last week, has also been put on hold. The sale can only go ahead if Abramovich can show UK authorities that he will not directly benefit from the deal.

Chelsea’s current situation

The Chelsea owner is one of seven oligarchs who have been hit with new sanctions. Igor Sechin, a billionaire, and Oleg Deripaska, a former business colleague of Abramovich, are also on the list. Chelsea have been granted a special license to continue playing due to its position as an “important cultural asset”, but its owner will be denied any profit.

The club is no longer allowed to sell home or away tickets, and only fans who have already purchased tickets – including 28,000 season ticket holders – are allowed to attend matches.

Since Champions League tickets are often purchased separately from season tickets, games can essentially be played behind closed doors. Chelsea travel to Norwich today and host Newcastle on Sunday. The ministers tried to convince the club that it would not be unduly affected.

Chelsea were bought by Abramovich in 2003. Since then his fortune has funded the most successful period in Chelsea’s history, with the club winning 21 trophies, including five Premier League crowns and two Champions League victories. The club owns him for £1.5billion.

Among a host of Champions League contenders, British billionaire Nick Candy was the latest high profile business mogul to put his hat in the ring for the sale of Chelsea. More than ten reputable parties are believed to have compiled offers, including Swiss businessman Hansjorg Wyss and US investor Todd Boehly.

Read: Chelsea’s new owners: Analyzing 5 different prospects to potentially take charge

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