CHELSEA

Another Saudi-hassle for Premier League if the potential Chelsea takeover goes ahead

Chelsea Premier League, Six Sports

A potential takeover of Chelsea by the Saudi Media Group (SMG) could result in another headache for the Premier League. Already the premier league is facing many unwanted situations due to Chelsea’s ownership matters, and the Saudi Media Group could add another. Abramovich is rigorously looking for a new buyer for his club, and many have knocked on the door. The Raine Group, which is helping Abramovich in the sale have already received a number of bids. The Russian has now asked them to shortlist a few to finalize the sale.

Roman Abramovich has kept himself away from the process of the sale, and Raine Group are now studying the bidders. The Ricketts family along with Ken Griffin, consortiums led by Todd Boehly, Lord Martin Broughton-Lord Coe, Nick Candy-Gianluca Vialli are all in the fray. However, a bid that has caught everybody’s eye is the Saudi Media Group’s. When it says everybody, it includes the Premier League as well as the British government. But the Premier League is the one that is sweating over the Saudis, again.

Chelsea’s takeover by SMG is a bag full of troubles for the Premier League

Saudi Media Group’s bid for Chelsea is led by their chairman Mohamed Alkhereiji, backed up by Mohammed bin Khalid Al Saud. Khalid Al Saud is a member of the House of Saud, who have assets worth trillions. Along with their proposed £2.7 billion bid, the Saudis have even promised to extend the contracts of Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta. But Sky News has reported that it is highly unlikely that Chelsea is sold to a bidder from the Gulf.

The main reason for this is the wrath of the Premier League Chelsea could face. The Premier League already has had enough of the problems posed by the Saudis. The recent takeover of Newcastle United by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia gave a tremendous task to the Premier League before its completion. The task was their thorough investigation by the Premier League, who wanted to make sure that the ‘Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club’.

A similar situation could ensue if SMG emerges as the frontrunner for the Chelsea takeover. However, SMG has reassured that they are not a subsidiary or such of the Saudi Arabian government. But there are suspicions that the SMG is a significant arm of the Saudi Arabian government.

The Premier League faced a massive backlash from all fronts when they green-lit the Newcastle takeover. The League’s administration was heavily criticized for their control and monitoring of the clubs. As result, the Premier League fears the same situation here with Chelsea.

Raine Group has emphasized that they will pick the next owners on the basis of “an assessment of the best future steward of the club”. While Premier League may be praying that Chelsea remains at an arm’s length from the Saudis, the next few weeks could decide who gets what. Whether the Premier League is once again served with nightmares or Chelsea gets a smooth, controversy-free ownership transition.

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