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Chelsea fans were surprised to see their team turn out in their usual kit to face Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.
Chelsea’s home kit featured the logos of Three and Hyundai, despite both companies suspending their sponsorship deals with the London club.
Earlier this week, Chelsea’s main shirt sponsor Three announced it had suspended its £40m-a-year deal with the Blues after club owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government in response to Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai followed suit on Saturday, suspending its own sponsorship deal with Chelsea “until further notice”.
Both companies’ logos remained on Chelsea’s kit for Sunday’s match at Stamford Bridge, and the reason has now been revealed.
Chelsea's kit today, despite requests from Three and Hyundai to remove their logo from their shirt. pic.twitter.com/C0ozAdCvsB— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) March 13, 2022
Chelsea still have @ThreeUK on their shirts because they do not have any shirts without the logos and are currently unable to order more after Abramovich was sanctioned— That's Football! (@ThatsFootballTV) March 13, 2022
According to Football London, Chelsea do not have any shirts without the logos and are currently unable to order new stock due to the sanctions affecting the club.
There are now concerns Chelsea will be unable to complete the Premier League season due to the financial restrictions placed on the club.
Chelsea's technical and performance advisor, former goalkeeper Petr Cech, admits the club is now being run on a day-to-day basis.
Negotiations are ongoing with the government over Chelsea's operating licence, which has allowed the club to continue with 'football-related activities'.
Cech told Sky Sports: “We are focused on the things we can control, helping people and preparing for the game - that’s the only thing we can control at the moment. We want to help keep the integrity of the Premier League competition and try to do our best.
“We have to admit we go day by day as it’s not in our hands. The conversations are about if we can finish the season and we’re part of the Premier League. For us to carry on to finish the season would help everybody involved.
“I’m not involved in the talks with the government but the club are talking every day about the licence. We hope the situation will be clearer soon.
“We hope the people working for the club will be able to get their salaries and live their lives and work. But this is a difficult question for me to answer as I don’t know what the licence will be like day-to-day.
“At the training ground we’re trying to support each other and focus in difficult times.”
Russian billionaire Abramovich is in the process of selling the club, with any proceeds from the sale set to be frozen or channelled into a charity if approved by the UK government.
Several parties have expressed an interest in buying the club, including British property developer Nick Candy.
Candy is expected to make a formal bid this week and has promised Chelsea fans a seat on the club's board, according to Sky Sports.
The London-based businessman is in talks with financial backers ahead of a deadline for offers at the end of this week.