Chelsea fans chant Roman Abramovich’s name amid asset freeze fallout
Premier League side Chelsea may be in conflict over British government sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich, but the club’s fans are showing they still support the Russian billionaire.
- Roman Abramovich’s assets have been frozen due to his ties to the Russian president
- The Premier League club are affected, including being unable to buy players or sell new tickets
- Mobile phone company Three have asked Chelsea to suspend their shirt sponsorship
Chelsea face an uncertain future due to heavy sanctions against Abramovich – one of many wealthy Russians whose assets were frozen by Western countries after Moscow invaded Ukraine.
As part of the fallout, the club is prohibited from buying players, selling new tickets to home or opposition supporters for matches at Stamford Bridge and selling merchandise.
Chelsea even demanded a special license to play their final Premier League game against Norwich, but the sanctions – which also halted Abramovich‘s planned sale of the club – didn’t stop away fans chanting the oligarch’s name from the first whistle.
The sound of “Roman Abramovich!” coming from Blues fans was almost immediately followed by boos from the Norwich crowd.
And City fans have made their views on the crisis known, waving banners that have cracked their London rivals.
The Chelsea players showed no signs of being affected by the turmoil as Trevor Chalobah headed into the corner from Mason Mount in the third minute. Mount got himself on the scoresheet 11 minutes later when he caught a pass from Kai Havertz.
In the second half, the Chelsea fans were back in full swing, chanting for Abramovich and chanting: “Chelsea get punished everywhere they go.” However, with 21 minutes left the momentum changed when Norwich scored from the penalty spot.
Blues fans were treated to celebration, however, as Havertz scored in added time to wrap up the points with a 3-1 win.
Company calls on Chelsea to suspend shirt sponsorship
Following government sanctions, the Mobile Three network asked Chelsea to suspend their shirt sponsorship of the team.
“In light of the government’s recently announced sanctions, we have asked Chelsea Football Club to temporarily suspend our sponsorship of the club, including the removal of our brand from the shirts and around the stadium until further notice,” said Three. in a press release.
“We recognize that this decision will have an impact on the many Chelsea fans who follow their team with passion.
“However, we believe that given the circumstances and the government sanction in place, it is the right thing to do.”
Sleeve shirt sponsor Hyundai also said it was considering its next move.
“Hyundai has become one of football’s strongest partners over the years and the company supports sport as a force for good,” a statement read.
“We are currently assessing the situation with Chelsea FC.”