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Chelsea shirt sponsor Three suspends deal with club following Abramovich sanctions

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What the sanctions placed on Abramovich mean for Chelsea (1:43)

Gab & Juls discuss the impact of the sanctions placed on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. (1:43)

Chelsea will play without a shirt sponsor after Three announced they are suspending their £40 million-a-year deal ($52.4 million) with immediate effect.

The decision comes on the same day Blues owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the U.K government for his alleged ties to Russia president Vladimir Putin amid the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

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The telecommunications company is midway through a three-year agreement which is due to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season but has asked for its logo to be removed from the club's kit, Stamford Bridge and Chelsea's Cobham training base.

"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," read a statement.

"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."

Chelsea took on Norwich City at Carrow Road on Thursday, with players still wearing the Three logo on their shirts. However, other sponsors are believed to be also reviewing their relationship with the Blues, whose latest set of accounts published in December for the year ending June 30, 2021, revealed an income of £153.6m ($201.2m) in commercial revenues.

Car manufacturer Hyundai, whose agreement is thought to be worth around £10m ($13,1m) per season, said in a statement: "Hyundai has become one of the strongest partners in football over the years & the company supports the sport to be a force for good. We are currently assessing the situation with Chelsea FC."

Another official partner, Zapp are also weighing up whether to act after Chelsea were frozen as an asset of Abramovich.

The club can still fulfil fixtures and pay staff after being granted a special licence by the government but there are restrictions to rule out any possibility of Abramovich profiting from club transactions. These include a ban on future ticket sales and player transfers while Chelsea also cannot renew contracts with existing players and must stick to spending limits on travel to away games.

Speaking after a 3-1 win over Norwich City on Thursday, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel admitted that the events of Thursday were a distraction but was pleased with how his players responded.

"Of course, there's a lot of distraction, and another level of distraction obviously with the sanctions, and we could feel it and talk about it and are aware of it and we accept it," he said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes.

"I think it's only right for the players to be able to switch off for 90 minutes in what has been a difficult day," she told the BBC before her team's win over West Ham. "And I know from my end, I'm the leader of this team and we're going to have to navigate a difficult period, one I don't have all the answers for."