Chelsea has played six games so far in the 2023/24 Premier League season with no front-shirt sponsor. They play their seventh Premier League game this Sunday – against Fulham – but are still yet to officially confirm any sponsor updates. The Blues are now the only team in the Premier League without a primary shirt partner.
Why do they not have a front-shirt sponsor?
Their three-year deal with telecommunications company Three ended at the end of last season. Chelsea played their summer campaigns without a sponsor but were expected to have secured a deal by the time the Premier League season would get underway.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case. About three months later, the London team is yet to announce who their front shirt sponsor will be.
During the 2022/23 season, Chelsea was reportedly in talks with Allianz as a potential sponsor, but the deal fell through. Still adamant about finding a sponsor, the Blues then made a move for Paramount Plus, but once again, they were unsuccessful. The Premier League actually blocked the move! This was due to concerns it would upset broadcast partners, despite the fact Paramount Plus is not viewed as a direct competitor.
There were then the discussions about Stake, but gambling controversies led to another deal not making it to a pen on the dotted line. Chelsea reportedly pulled out of negotiations after the rumours sparked an uproar among the fans.
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What is happening now?
Having had one of the biggest commercial deals in the league with the mobile giants Three, the club’s failure to secure a replacement has been yet another reason for the new owners to be on the receiving end of harsh criticism.
However, it must be noted that one of the deals that was very close to being completed was blocked by the Premier League themselves – Paramount Plus – therefore leaving Chelsea in a very difficult situation that they obviously did not choose.
Just hours before Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, Sky Sports dropped behind-the-scenes footage of Chelsea’s media day. The video seemingly leaked the club’s new front shirt Sponsor, ‘Infinite Athlete’.
There were already rumours about Chelsea being in talks with the company, but this leak seemed to have confirmed it. However, four weeks into the Premier League, and still no official confirmation.
The two have been linked since April. Infinite Athlete is a company recently formed when acquired by BlueCo. Tempus Ex Machina already have a deal in place with Chelsea, helping to revolutionise the fan experience of the matches on the website and app.
Finally, though, there might actually be something in the works between Chelsea and Infinite Athlete in terms of front-shirt sponsorship. Infinite Athlete is expected to fill in as a short-term primary sponsors before being moved to a sleeve sponsor next season. The deal appears to be close, and the Premier League are reportedly going to give the green light.
Infinite Athlete had been expected to be announced as the new sponsor before the international break, but so far, nothing official from the club regarding the matter has been released yet.
A long-term sponsorship deal is yet to be confirmed. As for who might sign the dotted line, Riyadh Air is rumoured to take over from 2024/25. The Saudi Arabian airline is said to be willing to commit to a ‘multi-year deal’ with Chelsea.
Chelsea fans had been growing impatient, but it has now been confirmed that the Premier League have granted approval for Infinite Athlete to be Chelsea’s new sponsor. The deal is set to be announced today with Infinite Athlete set to be on Chelsea’s shirts for the Fulham game, as it is too soon for tonight’s Carabao Cup clash with Brighton.