Three, a telecommunications and internet provider, has suspended their sponsorship deal with Chelsea Football Club amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Premier League club is owned by the billionaire Roman Abramovich, who happens to be a Russian.
The United Kingdom have joined forces to declare “an economic war” with Russia – they have frozen Russia’s financial institutions and have sanctioned on all businesses owned by Russians. Abramovich is loved by many Chelsea fans – he remains the most successful owner of the London-based club but the harsh sanctions by UK has forced him to list the Club for Sale.
In the wake of the event, three have redrew its sponsorship from the Champions of Europe. The reason being that the deal which is worth £40 million per year will be enormously affected by the sanctions.
Nevertheless, Chelsea is protected by a special government license but this insurance does not extend to the Russian billionaire. He has been banned from travelling and his assets are frozen.
This has caused uncertainty over the future of the club. Many other sponsors might joined three as they are reviewing their deals with Chelsea.
Three, whose deal with the blues is supposed to elapse in Summer 2023 said that they have terminated their sponsorship with the club and exhorted an urgent removal of its logo from their shirts.
Here is the statement by the telecommunications and internet provider:
“In light of the government’s recently announced sanctions, 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.
“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.
“As a mobile network, the best way we can support the people of Ukraine is to ensure refugees arriving in the UK from the conflict and customers currently in Ukraine can stay connected to the people who matter to them.
“Therefore, we are offering connectivity packages to all Ukrainians arriving in the UK, and those in Ukraine.”
Three have sponsored Chelsea since 2020. Their agreement is set to run until the summer of 2023.
Chelsea take on Norwich on Thursday in a Premier League encounter.