Mobile phone network Three have confirmed that they are suspending their sponsorship with Chelsea after the UK government brought sanctions against Roman Abramovich on Thursday.
The Russia oligarch had had his assets frozen due to his close ties with Vladimir Putin, who recently ordered the invasion of Ukraine.
Three, who signed a sponsorship deal with Chelsea in 2020 which includes the use of their logo as the club’s primary kit sponsor, have now announced that they are suspending their relationship with the Blues.
“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,” a Three spokesperson said.
“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.”
Chelsea play Norwich at Carrow Road on Thursday evening and it remains to be seen whether they are able to run out in kits which do not feature Three’s logo.