clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chelsea soliciting Riyadh Air, among others, for long-term shirt sponsorship — report

Please please please pretty please?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Florida, Arcadia, roadside billboard, advertise here Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As we enter month two of our unintended clean shirt, anti-corporate shills initiative, Chelsea are working diligently to avoid this situation from ever happening again in the future, and are actively pitching the space front and center to various companies around the globe.

Have we tried putting “YOUR AD HERE” on the front and see if anyone bites?

To be clear, these talks aren’t for this season. But the deal with Infinite Athlete, which remains entangled in Premier League red tape though is expected to be approved eventually at a value of around £40m, is set to be only a temporary, one-season solution. Now we’re looking for not only a bigger deal in terms of revenue, but also in terms of length as well.

One of the latest and potentially more promising (given that it’s making headlines) possibilities could be Riyadh Air, the newly created (five months ago) second national airline of Saudi Arabia, set to begin actual operations in 2025. (Saudia is the already existing flag carrier; Riyadh Air will be part of the Public Investment Fund as well however.)


Riyadh Air recently signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Atlético Madrid as well, for three years at €40m per year. According to The Athletic, we’re hoping for around £60m per annum, which would be a club record. (Presumably we would end our current partnership with Oman Air, our “Official Airline Partner”, at the same time.)

The only other company that The Athletic’s report mentions by name is Kaiyun Sports, a betting website that recently started sponsoring Nottingham Forest. But gambling sponsorships will be banned starting in 2026 — and not a moment too soon — and given the backlash to Stake, we surely won’t be trying that again.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History