Chelsea takeover latest as the deadline for bids to assume ownership of the Premier League club strikes today

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Seven frontrunners, Gary Neville caution, Stance on Saudi Media bid, Government ‘golden share’ decision, Chelsea takeover latest as the deadline for bids to assume ownership of the Premier League club strikes today

Chelsea’s murky future may become clearer on Friday, when the deadline for bids to buy the Premier League team expires at 9 p.m.

Chelsea was placed up for sale over three weeks ago by Roman Abramovich, but the deal is currently under the jurisdiction of the government due to penalties imposed on the Russian.

Here’s everything Sportsdias knows as the deadline approaches.

Seven frontrunners tipped to make bids

Despite estimates that there could be up to 200 offers, there are believed to be seven frontrunners as of 9 p.m.

Parties have expressed an interest in the club since Abramovich originally put it up for sale, and offers must be made to the Raine Group.

Hansjorg Wyss, an 86-year-old Swiss billionaire, was the first to proclaim his intention to purchase Chelsea.

He has now partnered with Todd Boehly, an American who owns a stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Jonathan Goldstein, a British businessman who is the CEO of Cain International and a Tottenham Hotspur supporter.

They made an offer of between £2 billion and £2.5 billion a few days ago, certain of winning the race to buy Chelsea, but the picture has been muddled by the appearance of additional bidders.

Daniel Finkelstein, a former government advisor and newspaper writer, has since joined the triumvirate.

Nick Candy, a property entrepreneur and Chelsea fan, is another high-profile bidder.

He accepted the necessity for collaboration with other investors, but ruled out joining the Wyss-Boehly-Goldstein deal because he “did not want a lifelong Spurs supporter as part of Chelsea’s future ownership.”

Meanwhile, the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, has teamed up with hedge fund mogul Ken Griffin, who Forbes estimates is worth £20.2 billion. The Ricketts family attempted to buy Chelsea for the first time in 2018 and has subsequently expressed interest in renegotiating a contract.

Martin Broughton, a Chelsea fan and former British Airways chairman, intends to lead a proposal, with backing from ex-Conservative MP Sebastian Coe and financial backing from Creative Artists Agency.

Woody Johnson, the former US ambassador to the United Kingdom and a Trump associate, appears to have a different stake. Since 2000, Johnson, a millionaire heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical corporation, has owned the New York Jets.

The Saudi Media Group is reportedly planning a contentious bid. Its bid is being led by another Chelsea supporter, Mohamed Alkhereiji, and insiders have stated that Saudi Media has no direct links to the Saudi government in response to worries about a future Premier League owners’ and directors’ test.

Several reports on Thursday evening stated that Aethel Partners had launched an offer. According to ESPN, the London-based equity group made an offer at more than £2 billion.

Gary Neville cautions the government on Chelsea’s future

Gary Neville, a Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit, has cautioned the government that it cannot allow Chelsea to go bankrupt.

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea only has enough money to operate until March 28.

On his Sky Sports podcast, Neville stated:

Chelsea have to be allowed to be sold. The Government has to ease their restrictions to allow the club to be sold and they have to ease their restrictions to allow the club to be operated so that they don’t go bust. I’m absolutely fixed on that.  

“We can’t lose Chelsea Football Club over this. I’m absolutely convinced that that’s a given for everybody. I don’t think anybody wants to see Chelsea go to the wall, we don’t want that. So they have to somehow work out a way, bids by Friday is sort of the word on the street. 

“If we believe that to be true then there will have to be a period of time to allow that sale to go through. Legals on a deal of £2m, let alone £2bn, are going to take more than what we believe is the 10 days that Chelsea have got left to operate and to pay the players and other such things.”

Premier League stance on Saudi Media bid

The Saudi Public Investment Fund’s purchase of Premier League opponent Newcastle United last October sparked widespread outrage. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of Saudi Arabia’s king, chairs the PIF.

The human rights record of Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticized. Just this week, the state announced the executions of 81 people for a variety of crimes.

When the Saudi Media Group was linked to the purchase of Chelsea, this sparked worry. However, it is believed that the media organization has a much weaker connection to the Saudi state than PIF.

The Premier League’s other 19 clubs all expressed worry over Newcastle’s takeover last year. However, Goal said that if Saudi Media purchased Chelsea, they would face less opposition.

Government make ‘golden share’ decision

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust demanded a ‘golden share’ for fans as one of six requests made of prospective buyers. The agreement would allow fans to safeguard ‘important club legacy.’

The CST wants a new owner to allow the formation of a democratically elected shadow board to hold the club’s directors accountable for important decisions. On Thursday evening, though, that was called into question.

The government, according to Football.London, is unwilling to make a golden share a condition of any purchase.


Chelsea takeover latest as the deadline for bids to assume ownership of the Premier League club strikes today

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