The tyres on the Yokohama deal perhaps worn out?

So it appears that Chelsea ‘have started testing the market for a new shirt sponsor’, with reports coming out that the Blues are planning to replace their current main sponsor – Yokohama Rubber – when the deal with the Japanese tyre giants expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.

According to The Athletic – there is “evidence of communication between the club and one unnamed company”, with Yokohama themselves being aware of this. Despite conversations being held elsewhere, discussions do remain open with Yokohama as it looks like Chelsea are planning to create a bidding ware between potential suitors to be the next, main sponsor of the current UEFA Europa League holders.

All five Chelsea home shirts (from 2015-16 to 2019-20) that have included the Yokohama sponsor so far (Photos – Chelsea FC)

When Yokohama took over from the South Korean conglomerate Samsung in 2015, the deal was the second biggest in the Premier League at £200m over five years (approx. £40m (€44.5m) per year), with only Manchester United’s £53m-a-year contract with Chevrolet being more lucrative.

Since then, Manchester City’s current deal with aviation giants Etihad have made them leapfrog Chelsea, whilst Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur’s deals with Fly Emirates, Standard Chartered and AIA respectively have allowed them to catch up with the Blues with similar £40m-a-year deals.

Whilst it most probably will not be as big a jump as going from £18m a year with Samsung to £40m a year with Yokohama, Chelsea feel that by reaching out to other companies, they can improve on the current amount they’re receiving and get closer to Man Utd’s current deal.

Expect more developments over the next few months.

Terry Sazio

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