Chelsea sponsorship update: Situation takes another turn

Jorginho of Chelsea (Photo by Visionhaus//Getty Images)
Jorginho of Chelsea (Photo by Visionhaus//Getty Images) /

All eyes have been on the Chelsea sponsorship situation over the last few months. When Roman Abramovich was officially sanctioned by the United Kingdom’s government, many scrambled to distance themselves from the situation for the sake of their own public relations. The Blues’ two biggest (in terms of popularity, not particularly size) sponsors—Three UK and Hyundai—were some of the first to “jump ship” following the announcement. This left fans fuming amidst all of the chaos, and they promptly backed those who stuck by the club’s side during the process.

There have been a lot of rumors swirling around ever since that issue was brought to the forefront. It was reported that Chelsea’s new owner, Todd Boehly, and his consortium would be shopping around for a new shirt sponsor ahead of next season. He apparently wants to capitalize on the growth of the club’s brand and its new American ownership by getting a larger deal from a United States-based company. However, the latest developments surrounding the Blues’ shirt sponsor for the 2022/23 season won’t please too many fans around the globe.

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Chelsea’s main shirt sponsor, Three UK, will reportedly stay on another season

Independent Chelsea news source, Talk Chelsea, reported on Wednesday morning that the UK-based telecommunications company is set to stay on as the Blues’ shirt sponsor. The club has removed Three from its official partner page on its website, which has led to a lot of speculation recently. Nevertheless, this could have to do with the statement Three put out at the beginning of the sanctioned period to distance itself from the political drama, rather than the termination of any current agreement between the two sides.

It is worth noting in this situation that Three still has a 12-month contract with Chelsea. The Reading-based operation was ready to trigger a clause that would extend its partnership with the Blues for another two seasons earlier in the year before the UK government dropped the hammer on the club, according to Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella. Three pays Chelsea £40 million per season to sport its logo on the front of the kits as things stand. Boehly has been in the market searching for a new sponsor recently, which is normal when shirt sponsors enter into the final year of their contracts.

The Blues have already secured a new deal for their sleeve sponsor as they waive goodbye to Hyundai after an initial multi-year deal. The South Korean motor company had signed on until the end of the 2022 season, a contract it saw out in the end. Replacing the well-known car brand on the royal blue sleeves of Chelsea’s kits next season will be WhaleFin.

WhaleFin is an investment company—owned by the Singapore-based Amber Group—that specializes in the relatively unexplored space of cryptocurrency. No length of the agreement has been released yet by either side, but the deal is said to be worth £20 million per season. This figure doubles that of Hyundai over the last couple of seasons. In addition to joining up with the Blues, WhaleFin is also taking over as Atletico Madrid’s shirt sponsor next year.

There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding all aspects of the club as it prepares to usher in a new era in the coming months. There will be fresh faces in the stands and in the team and a new look being sported by the players on the pitch, but it seems as if one of the only constants that will remain from last season is Chelsea’s shirt sponsor. The reports are still relatively unconfirmed, we’ll know in a few weeks though when the Blues release their 2022/23 kits, made by Nike.

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