Chelsea is expected to announce a £20 million per year shirt sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency business WhaleFin in the coming days.
The Blues are now seeking new sponsors after losing lucrative sponsorship agreements with Three, Hyundai, Zapp, and Parimatch in March as a result of Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government for allegedly having relations with Vladimir Putin, which he disputes. This follows the Blues’ loss of those lucrative contracts in March.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine in February, and a violent struggle has erupted since then. Chelsea are unable to sign new contracts because of the sanctions imposed on Abramovich, who fears that doing so will enhance the oligarch’s wealth.
On the other side, Abramovich is close to selling the London club. Todd Boehly, together with a group of American businessmen and executives, has struck an agreement to buy the club. The purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the month, subject to Premier League and government approval.
Chelsea is commonly considered to be in the midst of negotiating new sponsorship deals in anticipation of Boehly’s acquisition. The Blues have secured an arrangement with WhaleFin, a digital asset platform controlled by the Singapore-based Amber Group, according to a report by Sky News. This is a discount for shirt sleeves.
Despite the fact that Boehly’s purchase of the firm is unlikely to be completed for another couple of weeks, the deal might be announced as early as Thursday morning. The WhaleFin logo will appear on all three of Chelsea’s home, away, and third jerseys starting next season.
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The deal was reportedly signed in January, many weeks before Boris Johnson and his colleagues decided to ban Abramovich. This will enable the Blues to announce their newest partnership before the club’s new owners take control.
Chelsea’s first foray into the world of cryptocurrency will be via this cooperation. One of the firms interested in negotiating a new significant shirt sponsorship arrangement with Liverpool, which is now ongoing and expected to be worth £80 million per year, is rumoured to be a cryptocurrency company.
Chelsea’s cooperation with WhaleFin will not be the first time a Premier League team has engaged in a bitcoin transaction. Manchester United signed a £20 million-per-year arrangement with the blockchain platform Tezos in February. Tezos’ symbol is prominently shown on United’s training clothes.
Chelsea stated earlier this month that Boehly’s consortium had agreed to terms to buy the Premier League club, which also includes fellow billionaires Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss. The Chelsea Football Club is also a member of Boehly’s cooperation. The deal is worth more than £4 billion.
“Of the total investment being made, £2.5bn will be applied to purchase the shares in the Club and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100 per cent to charitable causes as confirmed by Roman Abramovich,” read Chelsea’s official statement.
“UK Government approval will be required for the proceeds to be transferred from the frozen UK bank account. In addition, the proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation.”