Let's just say that our first season under new sponsorship — Samsung (and Samsung mobile) had adorned the front of the shirt for the previous decade — has not gone to plan. We're on the cusp of completing our worst Premier League season in 20 years, looking on course to finish just ahead of 95-96's 11th place. Thanks, Yokohama!
While it's silly to blame new sponsorship of course, the change of guard on the front of the Chelsea shirt will be associated with this debacle until we right the ship, and hopefully soon, in the seasons to come. Yokohama are here to stay for at least four more seasons, so there's time. Until then, Chelsea have resorted to giving away the shirts for free*.
Well, sort of.
There was the promotion for Chelsea Ladies' opening home match of the season — free shirt with entry! (for the first 3000 fans) — postponed due to a waterlogged pitch but presumably still on offer for whenever the first home match will actually take place. This is actually a great promotion, despite this post's cynicism. Now, just a few days later, here's another one: free home shirt with a year's subscription to Chelsea TV online. (Fan Club Standard, or whatever the official name for it is.)
I have many gripes with Chelsea TV, including the fact that you have to pay for it (and that content is lacking compared with many other teams, plus the website is buggy and you have to keep logging in constantly, etc), but since my subscription had recently expired, I guess I'll take advantage and get a free shirt with something I'd pay for anyway. (Presuming there isn't some small print that says the offer is only valid for new sign-ups or whatever.)
* Just how badly are sales flagging that we're having to give them away for free just to clear inventory? I can't quite recall promotions like this in recent years...