Chelsea news as the Blues prepare for yet another money-spinning deal having already made £40million announcement
Chelsea’s owners are continuing to ring the changes across the board as they seek to increase revenue as part of their wider plans with the club. Having fallen out of the Champions League and spent over £1billion on new players in their first 15 months in charge it hasn’t been a smooth transition.
Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital are still committed to overturning the fortunes of the club on and off the pitch though and haven’t slowed down in their attempts to modernise and revolutionise the behind-the-scenes structure. Having recently announced that three new directors would be in place, two directly involved in the finances and revenue operations, the goals are clear.
The task at its infancy has been tough to overcome though with the Blues working on mass changes from top to bottom. Now, having made a big announcement for one of the key drivers of income earlier this month, talks are ongoing over what comes next.
After waiting months to agree and reveal a new primary sponsor there is still no long-term confirmation that newly formed Infinite Athlete will be the front-of-shirt sponsor for next season. It was only two weeks ago that the innovative sports technology company were finally announced by the club but when it comes to the 2024/25 season there is nothing set in stone.
Infinite Athlete became the club’s choice for a sponsor after months of struggle trying to agree a financially viable and also Premier League approved deal that wouldn’t turn the fanbase entirely against the consortium heading things. It came after a period of immense uncertainty though and the group – formed recently when Tempus Ex Machina acquired Biocore – might not hang around long.
According to Ben Jacobs, Chelsea are still in talks with Saudi airline Riyadh Air over a longer-term and more lucrative deal. The Blues held talks with the group that are yet to have any flights – and won’t do until 2025 – in September. It is said that a figure of around £55-£60million is what is being looked into.
That is nearly 50 per cent more than the £40million believed to be agreed for the Infinite Athlete deal this season. Chelsea were getting around £60million from mobile giants Three per season but found it hard to attract willing suitors after that agreement ended following three years.
After dropping out of the Champions League the club are no longer as attractive to those that had been in the mix previously and Jacobs continues to explain that any deal would be based on the condition that they are playing in Europe’s premier club competition in 2024/25.
On current standings that will be a big task for Mauricio Pochettino and his men as they approach two months into the season with just three wins and 11 points under their belt. However, due to new Champions League formatting coming in from next season there is a chance that the top five in England could qualify, enhancing their chances hugely.
It will still be a challenge, though, with Newcastle, Manchester United, Brighton and Aston Villa all looking to put pressure on the current table leaders. There is also still the chance that Infinite Athlete remain as a sponsor in some capacity as the Blues look to find a new shirt sleeve partner.
Their deal with Crypto firm WhaleFin ended earlier this year and as a way to once more drive up revenue they could turn to more and more different areas to pitch sponsor deals with. There are already new agreements with Tempus Ex Machina, Oman Air and Hilton with more set to follow.
It could leave Infinite Athlete in the mix and new club CEO Chris Jurasek firmly believes that the company will have a growing influence on the sports market in the future. “From the outset, it was clear the potential Infinite Athlete has in leveraging technology to unlock competitive advantage and to enhance the fan experience,” he said when the deal was announced.
“We have a like-minded partner in Infinite Athlete. The speed at which our relationship has grown, alongside the evolution of Infinite Athlete’s business, made this an obvious extension to our partnership.
Infinite Athlete has the potential to revolutionise the world of football and global sports, particularly when it comes to fans wanting to consume more match and player data and control their own viewing experience, while also providing players and coaches with insights and analytics that can help with player performance, health and safety.”
Jacobs does also point out that there could be a potential clash of interests should Riyadh Air become a genuine option due to the agreement with Middle Eastern rival Oman Air. The good news for Pochettino and Co is that since adding the Infinite Athlete logo to the kit Chelsea are three wins from three and on the rise.