Chelsea have lost their sponsorship deal with Parimatch after the sports betting company pulled the plug on their deal.
Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the government of the United Kingdom due to his supposed links to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The club has been prevented from carrying out any commercial activity that will profit Abramovich as well, including merchandise and ticket sales.
Barclays Bank has suspended the club’s accounts, Three UK, the club’s official branding partner, has suspended their deal, and Hyundai, the club’s official car partner and sleeve sponsor have also suspended their deal with the club.
Parimatch is the latest to pull out of a relationship with the club. The bookie has been in support of Ukraine from the beginning of the invasion, even donating £1.5 million to humanitarian efforts in the country.
Considering that the company’s heads, Roman Syrotian and Maksym Liashko are Ukrainian, it was an expected move. Parimatch signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea last August and less than a year into that deal, have cut ties with the West London club.
Company statement on the suspension of Chelsea deal
“After considering the situation, we have decided to pause all joint marketing and brand campaigns with the Club featuring the Parimatch logo and brand,” a Parimatch statement reads.
“Together with our licensed partner in Great Britain, we have agreed to use the LED display systems at Stamford Bridge exclusively for the promotion of our volunteering and donation activities to help Ukraine, which Chelsea FC are supportive of.”
Abramovich has since put Chelsea up for sale and Friday is reported to be the last day in which the billionaire will be able to sell the club in order to make anything from it.
A failure to sell off the club by Friday will result in forfeiture. As it stands, there are a reported nine serious bidders interested in taking over the European champions in the coming weeks.
Club captain Azpilicueta asks for focus from fans and players
Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta spoke after his match-winning goal to send Chelsea to the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Azpilicueta was returned to the starting lineup for Chelsea and marked his return with the winning goal. The Blues progress on a 4-1 aggregate win as they continue their Champions League title defence.
Azpilicueta spoke about his goal and also praised the Chelsea support that travelled with the team to Lille, France, despite the unfortunate incidents surrounding the club.
“I’m very happy to score the winning goal, even if it was off my knee!” the Spanish defender stated after the game.
“I just stuck my leg towards the ball and thankfully it’s came off my knee and into the net. I don’t usually score goals, so I’ll take that and the main thing is helping the team get a good result and qualifying through a difficult tie.
“It felt good to be back, I was ready to play and to help the team. To score the winning goal in the last-16 of the Champions League, especially with the hundreds of fans that travelled over, it really was extra special.”
Chelsea have managed to shut out the noise surrounding the club in the past few weeks to win every fixture they have played in that time.
Azpilicueta praised the mentality of his teammates in his post-match comments. “It hasn’t been a normal few weeks for us and it’s really out of our hands,” added the Blues’ skipper.
“What we have to do is focus on what we can do on the pitch. It’s out of our hands but what we can do is fight every day on the pitch and stick together, which is what everyone at the club is doing.
“This is something that we will overcome and become stronger for.
“We don’t make any excuses, that’s not us, and this group fights for everything. We have to do as best as we can on the pitch, we stick together and hopefully we can end up having a very good season.”