Sponsor reacts to Abramovich sanction

English Premier League

One of Chelsea's major sponsors has made a big decision following the news that Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK government.  

On Wednesday, it was announced the British government had decided to freeze the Russian businessman's assets, which ultimately means that he cannot accept any bid for the club without their permission. 

With the Blues having been given a licence to continue operating, restrictions on the team leave the club incapable of signing or selling players at this point in time, while the reigning UEFA Champions League holders are also not allowed to renew any player contracts.

Scroll through the gallery above to see Chelsea's highest-paid players, per Spotrac

Chelsea shirt sponsor Three, a British telecommunications and internet service provider, has now released an official statement confirming it is suspending its sponsorship of the club until further notice. 

"In light of the government's recently announced sanctions, we have requested Chelsea Football Club temporarily suspend our sponsorship of the club, including the removal of our brand from shirts and around the stadium until further notice," a Three spokesperson said. 

"We recognise that this decision will impact the many Chelsea fans who follow their team passionately.

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

"As a mobile network, the best way we can support the people of Ukraine is to ensure refugees arriving in the UK from the conflict and customers currently in Ukraine can stay connected to the people who matter to them. 

"Therefore, we are offering connectivity packages to all Ukrainians arriving in the UK, and those in Ukraine." 

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The company's deal with the London club is believed to generate £40 million (R788 million) a year, so the potential cancellation of this partnership would be a massive financial blow for the Blues.

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