Chelsea are expected to announced a £20million-per-year shirt sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency group WhaleFin in the coming days.
The Blues are currently looking for new sponsors after losing lucrative deals with Three, Hyundai, Zapp and Parimatch in March due to Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government for allegedly having ties with Vladimir Putin, something he denies.
Russian president Putin ordered his troops to invade neighbouring Ukraine in February and a violent war has raged since. The sanctions imposed on Abramovich mean Chelsea are not allowed to negotiate new contracts in the fear it could bolster the oligarch’s wealth.
Yet Abramovich is close to selling the London outfit. A consortium led by US businessman Todd Boehly has agreed a deal to takeover the club and it is expected to be completed by the end of the month, subject to Premier League and government approval.
As such, it’s believed Chelsea are negotiating new sponsorship deals ahead of Boehly’s takeover. As reported by Sky News, the Blues have agreed a shirt-sleeve contract with WhaleFin – a digital asset platform owner by Singapore-based company the Amber Group.
It’s claimed the deal could be announced as early as Thursday morning, despite Boehly’s takeover not expected to be completed for another couple of weeks. The WhaleFin logo will appear on Chelsea’s home, away and alternate shirts from next season onwards.
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The deal is thought to have been signed in January, several weeks before Abramovich was sanctioned by Boris Johnson and his colleagues. That will allow the Blues to announce their latest partnership before the club’s new owners come into power.
The agreement will also be Chelsea’s first foray into the cryptocurrency industry. Liverpool are currently in discussions over a new £80m-per-year main shirt sponsorship deal, with one of the interested parties believed to be a cryptocurrency group.
Chelsea’s deal with WhaleFin will not be the Premier League’s first maiden crypto deal. Manchester United struck a £20m-per-year deal with Tezos – a blockchain platform – in February. Tezos’ logo is emblazoned across United’s training kits.
Chelsea released a statement earlier this month to confirm Boehly’s consortium – which includes fellow billionaires Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss – had agreed terms to acquire the Premier League side. The deal is worth in excess of £4billion.
“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.”
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