chelsea fc reportedly pitches lucrative £60m shirt sponsorship deal to saudi airline riyadh air, owned by newcastle's majority owner pif, with first flight set for 2025

Chelsea Football Club is reportedly in talks with a Saudi Arabian airline, Riyadh Air, for a potential multi-year shirt sponsorship deal worth £60 million. The airline is owned by the majority owner of Newcastle United, the Public Investment Fund (PIF). The deal, if finalized, would see Riyadh Air’s logo displayed on Chelsea’s shirts starting from the 2025 season.

According to sources, discussions between Chelsea and Riyadh Air have been ongoing for some time. The potential partnership would provide a significant financial boost to the Premier League club, as they look to maintain their competitive edge in the footballing world.

Riyadh Air’s connection to Newcastle United through the PIF has raised eyebrows, as the Saudi Arabian consortium had previously been linked with a takeover bid for Chelsea’s London rivals. However, it appears that the airline is now focused on establishing a partnership with Chelsea instead.

If the deal goes ahead, Riyadh Air’s logo would replace current shirt sponsor, Three, whose contract with Chelsea is set to expire in 2023. The reported £60 million per year agreement would put Chelsea’s shirt sponsorship deal among the most lucrative in football.

Chelsea has a history of securing high-profile sponsors, with previous deals including partnerships with Samsung, Yokohama Tyres, and Carabao. A new sponsorship agreement with Riyadh Air would further cement the club’s status as one of the most commercially successful football clubs in the world.

The potential partnership also highlights the increasing influence of Middle Eastern investors in English football. With the PIF already involved in the ownership of Newcastle United and now potentially sponsoring Chelsea, it demonstrates the growing presence of Saudi Arabian interests in the sport.

As negotiations continue between Chelsea and Riyadh Air, both parties are expected to work towards finalizing the details of the proposed sponsorship deal. If successful, the agreement would not only provide a significant financial injection for Chelsea but also showcase the continued global appeal and commercial viability of one of England’s most successful football clubs.

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