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Chelsea continue search for front-of-shirt sponsor amid Oman Air partnership as Stake talks end following fan backlash



Chelsea’s hunt for a new front-of-shirt sponsor will resume following a breakdown in talks with Stake.

Chelsea’s deal with telecommunication company Three has come to an end on June 30, with the brand having served as the club’s primary shirt sponsor since 2020.

Relations between Chelsea and Three soured in 2022 following the sanctioning of former Blues owner Roman Abramovich. Since then, the west London club have been inquiring about a replacement sponsor for Three ahead of the partnership expiring, with online casino company Stake being named amongst potential suitors.

However, discussions with the online casino came to an abrupt end, with Chelsea appearing to pull out of negotiations. As reported by Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, a one-year shirt sponsor deal was close to being agreed before the Stamford Bridge hierarchy backed out.

For now, the reasoning behind Chelsea’s change of heart remains unclear, however the club had received substantial backlash from supporter groups over the potential deal. On June 18, The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust (CST) published a statement voicing their outrage at negotiations between the club and Stake.

In a letter addressed to Todd Boehly, the Trust wrote: “The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust does not believe that it is in the best interests of our members for Chelsea Football Club to associate with an online casino and betting company as the primary shirt sponsor.”

In November 2022, the CST founded a programme aiming to deliver awareness of addiction in gambling to schools in the Hammersmith and Fulham region, with the Trust feeling the deal could undo much of their work done towards educating against harm in betting.

“An online casino and betting company as a primary shirt sponsor would make a total mockery of much of the previous work pioneered by the Chelsea foundation,” the letter read.

Chelsea have run into several complications in their attempts to find a new primary sponsor with deals with Paramount, Allianz and Oman Air all being ruled out. Paramount was blocked by the Premier League, while Allianz only reportedly offered £20 million-a-year. Oman Air are set to become a partner of the club’s for 2023/24, but won’t feature on the kit.

Following this, the search for a new sponsor will continue with the club keen to strike up a deal in the next few weeks.