The statement comes on the same day as the Blues owner, Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government for alleged ties with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
The telecommunications company was in the middle of a three-year agreement that was set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season. However, the company has now requested that its logo be removed from the club’s kit, Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea’s training base at Cobham.
A statement said, “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.
“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 in the UK, and those in Ukraine.”
On Thursday, Chelsea faced Norwich City with players still sporting the Three logo on their shirts.
Other sponsors are also reconsidering their relationship with the Blues, whose most recent set of accounts which was published in December for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, revealed a commercial revenue income of £153.6m ($201.2m).
After being granted a special licence by the government, the club can still play matches and pay its employees, but there are restrictions in place to prevent Abramovich from profiting from club transactions. These include a ban on future ticket sales and player transfers, as well as the inability of Chelsea to renew contracts with existing players and adhere to spending limits on away game travel.