Chelsea: Roman Abramovich’s involvement in the club could see them become a toxic brand for investors, sports branding expert says | Soccer News


A sports branding expert has told Sky Sports News that Chelsea could become a toxic brand for potential investors if the Russian conflict in Ukraine continues for some time.

Ben Peppi, head of sports services at JMW Solicitors, said existing and future sponsors could be deterred from investing in the club, as long as Roman Abramovich remains owner, under threat of possible UK government sanctions.

Labor MP Chris Bryant used parliamentary privilege to urge the government to seize some of Abramovich’s UK assets, saying a leaked Home Office document identified him as a person of interest.

A spokesperson for the Russian billionaire denied that Abramovich is currently involved in Russian politics or with President Vladimir Putin.

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Gary Neville has slammed Roman Abramovich’s statement regarding his decision to temporarily walk away from Chelsea, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When asked if Chelsea could potentially become a toxic brand in their own right, by association, Peppi replied: “Absolutely. And we have already seen what has happened to sports properties that have associations with Russia.

“UEFA withdrew Champions League final from St. Petersburg, there is talk of Gazprom being dropped as UEFA sponsor, Manchester United – probably the biggest global football brand in the world – has decided to terminate its relationship with Aeroflot.

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Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea’s statement on the Ukraine crisis included club owner Roman Abramovich.

“So there will undoubtedly be new partners, new sponsors who look at Chelsea and say ‘if the property is still in Mr Abramovich’s hands, we don’t want any part of it’.

“It doesn’t send the right message morally, ethically, socially.

“But the other side of the coin is the Saudi ownership of Newcastle, the ownership of Manchester City – people quickly forget.

“If it’s a long conflict and a long dispute between East and West, I absolutely think it will impact Chelsea for sure.”

Q&A: Russia is about to be suspended – what happens next?

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FIFA is in advanced talks on the suspension of the Russian national team.

How far can we expect a decision?

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Later today [Monday] I think it will be announced that Russia has been banned from international football. FIFA is currently in advanced talks on suspending the Russian national team until further notice.

“FIFA is working closely with UEFA on this. We had the situation on Sunday when the Bureau of the FIFA Council met when they stopped just before banning Russia.

“They said that Russia could not play home games, that it could not be called Russia and that it should be called the Russian Football Union and that there would be no neither anthem nor flag.

“FIFA also said on Sunday that other measures may well follow. These new measures will follow very quickly.”

Are other organizations now pressuring FIFA and UEFA to act?

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Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Powell has said she fully supports the FA’s suggestion that Russia should be banned from international football.

“The FIFA Bureau is made up of President Gianni Infantino as well as the six presidents of the six football confederations. It was a global decision.

“The decision was not only made by Infantino, but by the president of CONMEBOL for example and that of UEFA and the Asian football confederation. They decided on Sunday to stop just before suspending Russia and many people thought they would suspend them.

“There’s been a lot of criticism about this decision and we’ve also had examples where individual football associations have said, ‘No matter what the Bureau decides, we’re just not going to play against Russia. “.

“We saw Poland, which was the loudest and stood shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine saying, ‘Whatever happens, as Russia invades Ukraine and people die in Ukraine and flee the country, we will not play against Russia.

“Even if we are going to lose a place in the World Cup final. It seems that if this decision is made today, Poland will participate in the next round of the play-offs.

“At the moment they are supposed to face Russia and the winner of this match would face the Czech Republic or Sweden for a place in the Qatar World Cup.

“That would mean they would go straight into the final play-off game.”

Did the decision surprise you in any way?

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Rob Dorsett said the FA had made it clear to FIFA and UEFA that they believed expelling Russia from international football was the right course of action.

“It is perhaps surprising that it happened so quickly. But the information we had on Sunday was that it was not a final decision.

“We were told very clearly that depending on what happens in Ukraine, Russia could be suspended. I didn’t expect that to happen within 24 hours, but it was made very clear to us that this decision is not a done deal may well change depending on what happens in Ukraine.

“There’s been a lot of criticism for not banning Russia straight away, but it seems people at FIFA, UEFA and all the confederations are listening to the world of football and the individual football associations coming out. and say they won’t play against Russia and they decided to act quickly.”

Russia must compete in the European Women’s Championship. Will UEFA do the same?

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Speaking on Sky News, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Powell called for Russia’s exclusion from all upcoming sporting events.

“Yes, I expect them to. I’m told it’s a decision that’s going to be taken by all confederations.

“FIFA talks and works very closely with UEFA and what is important is that there will be a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee at 5 p.m. on Monday.

“There will be further developments on this as well. I think at this meeting it will become clear that Russia have been banned from international football. We may get an update on UEFA’s attempts to out of a sponsorship deal with Gazprom – the state-owned Russian energy company.

“It’s complicated and it’s something that UEFA’s lawyers are looking at to try and find a way out of this sponsorship deal because Gazprom is one of if not their biggest sponsor, with a value of ‘around £30million a year.’

What would happen if Russia then withdrew from Ukraine? Would the national team be immediately reinstated in the World Cup play-offs? Is that why FIFA and UEFA have held back for the moment?

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is inconceivable that normal sporting relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia could continue after the invasion of Ukraine.

“That could still change and I don’t think we can sit here and say 100% that Russia won’t play Poland. It all depends on what happens in Ukraine.

“You have to say that there are a lot more important things going on in the world right now. What is happening in Ukraine is much more important than the World Cup play-offs, and that’s what strikes me when I talking to people from the Polish team FA.

“Football doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. They say they don’t care about World Cup finals. Football is totally insignificant. What matters is what Russia made in Ukraine.

“They say they will try to do everything they can to try and stop this. Don’t even ask us about World Cup finals and play-offs. In the end, they won’t play. against Russia.




Sky Sports

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