MSC Cruises temporarily withdraws marketing activities with Chelsea FC

MSC Cruises partnered with Blues in November 2018 before extending its contract until 2024.

A Swiss-Italian global cruise line, MSC Cruises has announced that it is temporarily withdrawing marketing activities with Chelsea FC after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

Last week, Abramovich and six other Russian oligarchs had their British assets seized by the government as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which has thrown Chelsea into financial turmoil.

As part of the sanctions imposed on their owner, the west London club is now prohibited from renewing player contracts, selling new match tickets, merchandise, or spending more than £20,000 on match travel.

The club is still allowed to play matches after being granted a special licence to continue football operations. Chelsea is heavily dependent on the government agreeing to a sale of the club in which Abramovich won’t receive any compensation.

Several sponsors and partners are reconsidering their relationship with Chelsea in light of the sanctions. The company, which partnered with the Blues in November 2018 before extending its contract until 2024, has announced that it will cease operations until a takeover at Stamford Bridge is completed.

An MSC spokesperson said, “Chelsea Football Club has a been a long-standing member of the football family with widespread appeal both locally and internationally, which is why we decided to partner with the club.

“We look forward to the transition of ownership and will continue to support the club and its fans. In the meantime, we have decided to temporarily withdraw the marketing activities included in our partnership until further notice and we thank the team at Chelsea Football Club for their understanding.”

MSC is not the only company that has severed ties with Chelsea amid the club’s uncertainty. Hyundai, a South Korean multinational automobile manufacturer, has also distanced itself from the club until further notice. Along with this, the shirt sponsor, Three has also terminated its £40 million ($52.4 million) per year contract with immediate effect.

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