Chelsea will continue to wear the logo of mobile phone provider Three on their shirts for the rest of the season, despite the network suspending its sponsorship of the club.
The Blues' main shirt sponsor suspended its £40m deal earlier in March after the UK government imposed sanctions on the club's oligarch owner, Roman Abramovich, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Three had subsequently asked for their logo to be removed from the shirts, but the '3' has continued to be seen on the front of the players' jerseys in the four matches Chelsea have played since.
According to the Daily Mail, the suspension has proven complicated as a result of the sanctions and the licence Chelsea are operating under, which prevents Nike from supplying the club with new blank kits.
The west Londoners have been using the international break to try to find a solution, but proposed plans to either tape or spray paint over the logo have been rejected - the tape because it would be see-through if it was thin and uncomfortable and weighty if it was thick, and the white paint because it could look messy.
However, the government will not allow Nike to supply new shirts, so Chelsea will now continue wearing the Three logo until the end of the season. Three have been informed of that decision and are 'resigned' to being associated with the club while it is under sanctions.
Speaking on Tuesday, sports minister Nigel Huddleston said Chelsea could not be allowed to operate as though it was 'business as usual'.
“The sanctions do mean we’ve got to be really careful of making sure there isn’t any incremental new revenue generation that was part of the sanctions," Huddleston said.
"We have had constant dialogue with Chelsea fans because the whole strategy throughout is to be very, very clear that Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned and that has clearly had implications.
“I continue to work with the fans, but I was very clear from day one and it’s still the case – this is not business as usual. This is a different world because the club’s owner has been sanctioned.”