The hits keep on coming for Chelsea as the under siege Premier League giants face an ever-increasing financial crisis that creeps closer to the border of full armageddon in the wake of owner Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government for his intricate connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As one of the most well-known Russian financial oligarchs, Abramovich came into the targeting reticle of HMRC and has effectively been completely frozen as a financial asset.
The released memo stated that the Chelsea owner “is or has been involved in destabilizing Ukraine…via Evraz PLC, a steel manufacturing and mining company…over which Abramovich exercises effective control”, the company which has been making “and supplying steel to the Russian military.” This promoted the club to release a statement that requested meetings with the UK government on the rapidly growing issue.
In the wake of the increasing issues surrounding the west London club, main shirt sponsor Three UK formally requested that Chelsea remove their branding from all kits with immediate effect as reported by The Times’ Matt Lawton.
Telecommunications company Three has asked Chelsea to remove their branding from their shirts immediately, having now suspended their sponsorship deal with the club. There’s a kit man in Norwich now heading down to Sports Direct to buy 20 plain blue football tops.
— Matt Lawton (@Lawton_Times) March 10, 2022
This means that Chelsea has now had all sponsorship ties to the company suspended, in another major financial hit that could be leading the club into the abyss.
Chelsea feeling the heat surrounding the geopolitical response to the invasion of Ukraine
As Russian oligarchs have had the heat turned up under their feet for their connections to Vladimir Putin and his unjust invasion of Ukraine, Chelsea is at real risk of becoming a financial pariah almost overnight.
And the timing could not be worse for the Blues as questions regarding how they will revamp and refresh the first-team squad under Thomas Tuchel continue to swirl with key defensive trio Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, and Cesar Azpilicueta all looking set for summer exits on free transfers.
Why is this a problem? The notion that Chelsea may not be able to purchase players moving forward given said sanctions that have been levied.
No one knows how the club will get on moving forward in the short-term or medium-term future, but the notion that one of the biggest clubs in England could be in for a massive shakeup overnight, the very landscape of the Premier League could drastically shift.