European Champions League defending champions Chelsea Football Club signed a £20 million a year shirt deal with cryptocurrency investment platform WhaleFin.
Chelsea, which is currently undergoing a transfer of ownership, has faced significant financial challenges this season after sanctions on its Russian owner Roman Abramovic. The UK government sanctioned the billionaire due to his close ties with the Russian government.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2022
Abramovic’s assets in the U.K. — including Chelsea, which he was planning to sell — were frozen due to the sanctions. The sanctions also led to Chelsea sponsors such as Three, Zapp, Parimatch, and Hyundai cutting ties with the club.
Per available information, American billionaire Todd Boehly will be taking over the club in a £2.7 Billion deal. However, the deal — expected to finalize this month — is pending approvals from the government and the Premier League.
However, reports confirmed that the shirt sleeve sponsorship agreement precedes this takeover. It is believed that the deal has been signed since January, when Abramovic was still in charge.
WhaleFin is a cryptocurrency platform owned by Singapore-based Amber Group. With the deal, Chelsea becomes the second club in the English premier league to have a cryptocurrency platform as one of its main sponsors.
In February, Manchester United signed a £20 million/year deal with blockchain network Tezos. The deal saw the Tezos logo appear on the football club’s training.
Additionally, several other clubs in the EPL are involved in crypto in one way or another, including some of the top clubs in the league like Manchester City and Arsenal — both of which have fan tokens.
At least 17 of the 20 teams in the league have some partnerships with crypto companies.
Meanwhile, there are rumors that Liverpool is in discussions over a £70 million a year main shirt sponsorship deal, with one of the interested parties being a crypto company.