Chelsea are reviewing their sponsorship arrangement with Parimatch Tech after discovering that the betting firm are one of two companies linked to owner Todd Boehly to be sanctioned by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Sportsmail has learned that Parimatch and Sportradar AG are among 287 companies on a new sanctions list published by president Zelensky last Friday, with both banned from any economic or financial activity in Ukraine for the next 50 years
Parimatch have a three-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea which sees their logo displayed on LED systems at Stamford Bridge, while Boehly is a shareholder in Sportradar after spending around £120million on shares 18 months ago.
Both companies have been sanctioned for continuing to conduct business in Russia a year after the invasion of Ukraine, which Zelensky claims has directly assisted Vladimir Putin’s regime.
‘These are more than 280 companies and 120 people who, through gambling business schemes, worked against Ukraine, withdrew funds from our state and financed various Russian schemes,’ Zelensky said.
‘It took some time to prepare the decision. It has been thoroughly worked out and closes schemes worth tens of billions.’
Chelsea only became aware of the sanctions when informed by Sportsmail earlier today, and are currently reviewing their contract with Parimatch, who also have commercial deals with Newcastle, Aston Villa and Leicester.
The sanctions against Sportsradar may also be an issue for UEFA, who have employed the company as their integrity partner to monitor betting markets for the past 14 years and are currently using them as the official betting partner for the Champions League, Europa League and 2024 European Championship.
Boehly paid around £120million through to buy shares in Sportradar 18 months ago and has yet to sell them despite the company’s refusal to withdraw from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine 12 months ago.
Sources close to Boehly have told Sportsmail that his stake in Sportradar is not significant and that he has no plans to add to it, although in 2021 the American billionaire did consider a £10billion buyout of the firm through his special purpose acquisition company, Horizon Acquisition.
The latest sanctions imposed by Zelensky involve 120 mainly Russian individuals and 287 legal entities, many of whom operate in the gambling industry.
Unlike other big multinational betting firms such as DraftKings and Caesars Sportradar did not withdraw from Russia following the outbreak of war 12 months ago, although they did suspend any new investments in the country
In addition the company’s chief executive, Carsten Koerl, has shares in a company that owns a Russian sports betting firm, although he does not have any operational responsibilities.