Chelsea wore the crest of their three shirt sponsors in their victory over Norwich on Thursday night, despite the mobile operator suspending their contract with the club earlier in the day.
Trevoh Chalobah, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz scored, as Thomas Tuchel’s men scored a 3-1 win at Carrow Road to put them eight points clear of Arsenal in fourth, although they played two games more.
But the victory came after a day of turmoil at Stamford Bridge, as the UK imposed sanctions on club owner Roman Abramovich over his links to Vladimir Putin, plunging the club’s future.
Among the many repercussions of Abramovich’s asset freeze, the three shirt sponsors put their £40m deal on hold.
However, the front of the blues players’ jerseys still had the mobile company logo on it as they comfortably defeated Dean Smith’s men for their fourth consecutive win in the First Division.
Sportsmail Contact Chelsea and Rich for comment.
Social media was also left baffled by the logo appearing on their shirts, with an Arsenal fan asking: “Looking at the photos from Carew Road, Chelsea still have their sponsors’ crest on their shirts… How is that possible?”
However, one Chelsea fan tweeted: “With or without the shirt sponsors, Chelsea will be fine.”
Three – shirt sponsors – suspended a £40m deal with Chelsea on Thursday after Roman Abramovich was penalized.
However, Chelsea players still wore the mobile company’s logo in their victory over Norwich
The victory came after a day of unrest at Stamford Bridge which saw club owner Roman Abramovich penalized by the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, a West Ham fan recalled the time sponsors of Hammers XL went bankrupt in 2008, just one month into the season, forcing them to remove their logo at short notice.
The user wrote: “I hope Chelsea will do what West Ham did in 2007 when our sponsor went bankrupt and just cover the logo horribly with the team number.”
A statement issued earlier on Thursday read as follows: “In light of the recently announced government sanctions, we have asked Chelsea Football Club to temporarily suspend our sponsorship of the club including removing our trademark from and around the stadium until further notice.
We know that this decision will affect the many fans who follow their team with interest.
However, we feel that given the circumstances, and the applicable government sanctions, this is the right thing to do.
As a mobile network, the best way we can support the people of Ukraine is to ensure that refugees arrive in the post-conflict UK and clients who are currently in Ukraine stay in touch with the people who matter.
Therefore, we offer connection packages for all Ukrainians arriving in the UK, and those in Ukraine.
The Blues could lose millions in sponsorship revenue after Thursday’s developments.
Equipment suppliers Nike, who agreed a 15-year, £900m deal with Chelsea in 2016, are considering pulling out. This would result in the club losing £540m.
West Ham were forced to remove their sponsors’ XL logo in 2008 after they went bankrupt
Chelsea also held talks Thursday evening with the government amid concerns they would struggle to complete the campaign.
Blues officials have proposed amendments to the license issued to allow them to operate.
Under a wide range of restrictions, Chelsea were left unable to sell match tickets, forced to close the club’s store and banned from taking reservations at the Stamford Bridge Hotel.
They have been told they can no longer buy or sell players, or offer new contracts, and have been restricted to spending a maximum of £20,000 on travel to overseas matches.
They were told they could only pay “reasonable costs” to host home fixtures, “not to exceed £500,000 per fixture, per team”.
Abramovich (above) saw his assets frozen, creating chaos in the pending sale of the West London club
Chelsea have been left unable to sell match tickets and also had to close the club store, but existing staff and players will continue to pay
As it stands, the club cannot renew existing contracts – which effectively means that Antonio Rudiger (right) and Cesar Azpilicueta (left) will leave the club in the summer.
But there is a view that restrictions on transfers and hosting matches should be lifted to prevent the club from losing money.
Chelsea will continue to receive TV broadcast payments and prize money, but that will be frozen. The salaries of current staff and players will continue to be paid.
The club will also seek clarification on contracts, as a number of star player deals are set to expire at the end of the season.
As it stands, Chelsea cannot renew any contracts – meaning defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta will all leave in the summer.
Above all, Chelsea’s rivals are lining up to capitalize on their plight, with two players due to be signed to the Blues’ academy by other top-ranked Premier League clubs already close, given the ban on bringing in the Blues. talent.
But coach Thomas Tuchel said “as long as Chelsea have enough shirts and a bus” they will continue to fight as the German coach showed the first signs of solidarity since the UK government imposed sanctions on its owner.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists he is ‘still happy’ to coach Chelsea despite Abramovich being penalized
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Tuchel said: “Let’s see if it stays like this. If that happens, I don’t know.
We take it day in and day out. I wasn’t expecting it yesterday and don’t know what’s coming tomorrow.
Everyone can be completely confident that we are focused, to maintain the attitude and mentality on the training ground and within the team.
So now we can trust each other and that won’t change. As long as we have enough shirts and a bus to go to the matches we will be there and we will compete hard.