Chelsea have had to keep sponsor Three on the front of their match-day shirts in order to meet the terms of the special licence they received from the UK government.
The Premier League club are unable to print new kits as severe operational restrictions have been imposed on the club following the UK government’s decision to freeze Roman Abramovich’s assets.
Three has suspended its sponsorship with Chelsea due to Abramovich’s close ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
However, the Three logo remained on the club’s shirts for their 1-0 win over Newcastle Unitedon Sunday.
Three remain keen for its logo to be removed which has left Chelsea and kit manufacturers Nike to hold conversations as to how the issue can be resolved.
The British telecommunications company are not planning to take any legal action as it understands Chelsea are going through a difficult time due to the club’s ownership issues.
Three, who has sponsored Chelsea since 2020, are keen for the partnership to be put on hold rather than cancelled as new ownership would rectify any problems. The current agreement, which is thought to be worth £40 million per year, is set to run until the summer of 2023.
Abramovich was hit with sanctions by the UK government last Thursday, with Chelsea protected by a government licence.
Described by the UK government as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch”, Abramovich has been sanctioned with an asset freeze and a travel ban.
A Three spokesperson said last Thursday: “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.”
Nike remains committed to working with Chelsea while “official automotive partner” Hyundai has also suspended its deal with the club.
Chelsea are next in action on Wednesday when they face Lille in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie. Thomas Tuchel’s side will take a 2-0 lead to France.
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