The bidding window for the Chelsea takeover has closed and the club is now finalizing four potential candidates. As soon as Roman Abramovich announced he is selling the club, many investors braced up with their offers. Moreover, the sanctions imposed by the British government on Abramovich and Chelsea have further forced the Russian owner to accelerate the process. According to multiple reports, Abramovich will now study the bidders who have submitted their offers for Chelsea. Though the pressure is mounting, the outgoing owner is reportedly scanning all the bids to shortlist four out of them.
Abramovich has hired Raine Group LLC, a merchant bank to see off the sale. Joe Ravitch, co-founder of the Raine Group is thoroughly assisting Abramovich in the sale. All the offers will be scanned heavily for the financial as well as the ethical aspects. Four bidders will be shortlisted for the Chelsea sale based on the results. While names are doing the rounds in media with being tipped for a takeover, we take a look at all the bidders who have lined up to convince Abramovich and Ravitch.
Chelsea-bidders who are front-runners: Hansjorg Wyss, Todd Boehly, and Jonathan Goldstein
Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss had made his wish of taking over Chelsea known as soon as Abramovich announced the sale. Moreover, Wyss also mentioned that he would bid for the takeover as part of a consortium. It seems Wyss has formed his consortium, along with Todd Boehly and Jonathan Goldstein. Boehly certainly knows a thing about bidding for Chelsea, as his £2.2 billion offer was bluntly rejected by Abramovich three years ago. However, the LA Dodgers’ part-owner is back again as one of the bidders for Chelsea. Goldstein and his American investment company Cain Hoy too had a failed attempt in buying Tottenham Hotspur in 2014.
This consortium’s offer reportedly stands at £2.2 billion. The rumor is, however, that their offer is not the highest on the table. Moreover, the trio have taken along two eminent personalities as part of their project, who also happen to be Chelsea fans. Barbara Charone, an American PR executive has joined this consortium. Barbara is a renowned name in the music industry and a Chelsea season-ticket holder since 1981. The other famous personality is British journalist Daniel Finkelstein. Finkelstein’s CV says enough about him as he is the former adviser of the Conservative government. The team assembled by Wyss is said to be the front-runner based on their plans for the club’s present and future.
Aethel Partners, a private equity firm have submitted their £2 billion bid to Ravitch. Portuguese businessman Ricardo Santos Silva and American Aba Schubert are the founders of the firm who have their headquarters located in London. The most interesting part of the bidders here is their immediate and future plan for Chelsea. If successful in the takeover, Aethel Partners has promised an immediate injection of £50 million in the club’s account. Chelsea are in a dire need of cash flow since their merchandise, sale of new tickets, and sponsorships have vanished after the sanctions. At such a time, Aethel Partners are ready to help the club with the cash flow.
Lord Coe and Sir Martin Broughton
Everybody knows Sir Martin Broughton, from his spell as the chairman of Liverpool in 2010 for the Reds’ sale. Sir Broughton took over the Liverpool chairman’s role so as to oversee the club’s sale to Fenway Sports Group. Lord Coe and Sir Broughton have not disclosed their bid yet, but Lord Coe has confirmed that they are in the running. Lord Coe already is the consultant of Chelsea and shares a close relationship with chairman Bruce Buck.
Moreover, Lord Coe can also make things easy for Abramovich, as he has close ties with the Government. He has served as a Conservative MP and later as a member of the House of Lords. Lord Coe and Sir Broughton’s consortium is also one of the favorites.
Property developer Nick Candy has also expressed his strong wish of buying the club he is a fan of. Moreover, like other bidders, Nick Candy has joined hands with former Chelsea striker and manager Gianluca Vialli. Together, Nick Candy and Vialli are rumored to propose a bid of around £2.5billion.
Vialli’s investment company, Tifosy Capital & Advisory will oversee the operation and prepare a bid. Vialli has spoken about his bid, expressing that he is “very proud and privileged” to take part in a potential takeover of his former club.
C&P Sports Limited
Chelsea have bidders from Asia as well. Catalina Kim, CEO of C&P Sports has revealed they are preparing a bid for the Chelsea takeover. Kim said,
“We are preparing our bid [for Chelsea]. There has never been investment into a top tier football club made by South Korean capital before. It is time for a change,”
added the CEO.
C&P Sports Limited are a sports management company based in South Korea. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney has reported this news about C&P bidding for the Blues.
Saudi Media Group
The most talked-about bidders for Chelsea. SMG are the richest among every bidder listed here and have a net worth far bigger than Manchester City‘s and Newcastle’s owners. The Saudi group, led by Mohamed Alkhereiji has registered their bid of £2.7 billion.
However, they could also face the most number of difficulties for a potential takeover. Newcastle United’s takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund took four months to be green-lit by the Premier League. Since the Saudi group’s revenue sources are not totally known or disclosed by them, Premier League go in between the lines to verify them. This could seriously hamper the Saudi Media Group’s chances.
Tom Ricketts and Ken Griffin
The most controversial name on the list. The Ricketts family have released an official statement about their bidding interest for Chelsea. Ricketts family who owns the Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, along with hedge fund manager Ken Griffin have placed their offer. Ken Griffin is an important donor of the Republican Party, whose net worth is around £21 billion.
However, Tom’s brother Joe Ricketts has caused some controversy in the past, which has not been forgotten by the Chelsea fans. Joe Ricketts made some offensive comments about the Muslim community back in 2019, calling them his “enemy”. Although he apologized for the same, fans as well as the Chelsea hierarchy would certainly recall this incident whenever Ricketts’ name is flashed during the takeover.
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