Chelsea lose yet another sponsor as Hyundai ditch deal amid Roman Abramovich crisis

Roman Abramovich added to the UK's sanctions list

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Hyundai have become the latest sponsor to suspend their deal with Chelsea following the UK government’s decision to freeze Roman Abramovich’s assets. Abramovich has been sanctioned after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, due to his status as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch”.

Chelsea are currently operating under stringent financial restrictions which mean they cannot sell any tickets or merchandise, sign or sell any players or offer any contracts.

Abramovich’s efforts to sell the club he has owned since 2003 have been thrown into question by the news which broke on Thursday morning.

Following the government’s decision, front of shirt sponsor Three announced they would suspend its £40million with the club.

Kit manufacturer Nike and training kit sponsor Trivago have so far opted to stand by the club, but Hyundai, who have been Chelsea’s “official global automotive partner” since 2018, have now pulled the plug.

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“Hyundai has become one of the strongest partners in football over the years and the company supports the sport to be a force for good,” the company said in a statement.

“Through our partnership with Chelsea FC, we are proud supporters of the players, the fans and grassroots football.

“However, in the current circumstances, we have taken the decision to suspend our marketing and communication activities with the club until further notice.”


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The can manufacturer has taken the same decision of telecoms brand Three, who have decided to “temporarily suspend our sponsorship… until further notice”.

“We recognise that this decision will impact the many Chelsea fans who follow their team passionately,” a spokesperson added.

“However, we feel that given the circumstances, and the Government sanction that is in place, it is the right thing to do.”

Travel company Trivago took a different approach, deciding to stick by Chelsea, while “looking forward to a transition of ownership”.

Their statement said: “The uncertainty over the current ownership situation of Chelsea FC has been challenging. Moving forward, it is important to us to continue supporting the club, the fans and community along with the essential work that the Chelsea Foundation does to help those in need.

“We are looking forward to a transition of ownership as soon as possible and want to support the club in this process.

“We will provide any update to our business relationship if and when appropriate.”

In a new statement on Saturday, the Premier League confirmed that Abramovich has now been disqualified as a director of Chelsea.

The government has also amended the terms of the licence granted to the club, allowing Chelsea to spend £900,000 per match instead of £500,000.

Chelsea have also been told that they can use prize money to help pay wages, but their “reasonable costs for travel” remains fixed at £20,000 per game.

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