WhaleFin End Chelsea Sleeve Sponsorship Deal, Atlético Madrid Next?

Crypto firm WhaleFin have ended there €23 million a season sleeve sponsorship deal with Chelsea after only seven months due to financial difficulties. Could they end their Atlético Madrid sponsorship deal too?

Whalefin End Chelsea Deal

In May 2022, Cryptocurrency firm WhaleFin agreed to pay Chelsea €23 million a season to have their logo appear on the sleeves of their kits. Just seven months later, they have cancelled the deal. WhaleFin is owned by the Singapore-based Amber Group, who have been negatively impacted by the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange and are cutting costs in lots of areas.

Amber Group have reportedly sacked 40% of their staff and sent their remaining employees to work from home, having terminated the leases they had on office space. They have also put European and US expansion plans on hold. The company also fell short in their fund-raising efforts this year, bringing in only half of the expected $100 million. No information has emerged regarding what payments WhaleFin have already made to Chelsea, or how much of the $23 million the club will actually receive in the end.

Bad News for Atlético Madrid?

As well as the Chelsea deal, WhaleFin also signed on as the main shirt sponsor of Atlético Madrid in summer 2022. The contract is worth €42 million a season and is due to run for five years, but the cancellation of the Chelsea deal along with the money saving measures recently undertaken are not good omens. If WhaleFin's financial difficulties continue, they will likely have to reassess the financial commitment of the Atlético deal.

Already known to be highly volatile, the whole crypto sector has suffered from the FTX collapse. WhaleFin pulling the plug on their Chelsea deal, as well as Digitalbits failing to make payments to Inter as part of their agreement should be interpreted as warning signs for any clubs that have partnered with crypto firms, especially Atlético Madrid. Chelsea will be on the hunt for a new sleeve sponsor to fill the gap left by WhaleFin, and Atlético Madrid will likely take some cautionary steps just in case they too will need to find a new partner.

Do you think other crypto firms who have gotten into football club sponsorship will start pulling out of their deals too? Comment below.