CHELSEA

Four bidders shortlisted by Chelsea revealed as one unexpected name makes the cut

Bidders Chelsea, Six Sports

The Chelsea sale is approaching its final episode as a new update suggests four bids have entered the final round. Roman Abramovich was served with many offers after he announced the club’s sale. However, the Russian oligarch hired merchant bank Raine Group to see off the sale on his behalf. Raine Group then scanned all the offers and has reportedly finalized four. One among the final four bidders will now be the next owner of Chelsea Football Club.

While many were in line to take over Chelsea from Abramovich, Raine Group has narrowed it down to the final four names. The merchant bank group took into consideration both financial as well as ethical aspects to pick the finalists. We take a look at the bidders who have made the cut as one name has surprised everybody the most.

The unforeseen name among the finalized Chelsea bidders

Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca is the name that has raised many eyebrows. Pagliuca’s name for Chelsea ownership has literally come out of the blue as far as other bidders are concerned. Neither the reports nor the rumors about the potential bidders mentioned his name. Stephen Pagliuca is a private equity investor and the co-chairman of Bain Capital. The 67-year-old’s bid is not revealed yet, whose net-worth ranks at £2.9billion. But sources have confirmed that the American is in the running for the Chelsea takeover.

Pagliuca has developed a handsome CV in the world of sports. The investor started by becoming the co-owner of NBA’s Boston Celtic in 2002. Moreover, Pagliuca is also a member of the board of governors for the NBA. Furthermore, Pagliuca acquired 55% stakes in Serie A club Atalanta BC last month as part of a consortium. He is now the co-chairman of the Italian club as well. However, as far as his net worth is concerned, it seems that he might again lead a consortium for Chelsea ownership. But his name on list has certainly puzzled everybody.

The other three who complete the list

While Stephen Pagliuca has made the cut, consortiums led by Todd Boehly, Lord Coe and Sir Martin Broughton and Ricketts family join the Celtics’ co-owner. Todd Boehly has formed a consortium with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and Jonathan Goldstein. Their consortium has also roped in American PR executive Barbara Charone and Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein.

Lord Coe and Sir Martin Broughton also lead a consortium which includes American private equity investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer. The Chelsea bidders are termed as favourites since Lord Coe’s connections with the British government. Sir Broughton has also first-hand experience in takeover transitions, as he was famously named the acting chairman of Liverpool FC to oversee their sale to Fenway Sports Group in 2010.

The most controversial of all the bidders are the Ricketts family who have been finalized for the Chelsea sale. Many of the Blues’ supporters have already expressed their displeasure over the Ricketts family’s bid. The reason being Joe Ricketts’ emails in which he bluntly states Muslims as his “enemy”. Chelsea fans haven’t forgotten the incident which took place in the past and called on to dismiss any offer from the Chicago Cubs’ owner. However, it looks his bid has something ‘extraordinary’ since the Raine Group have shortlisted him.

The bidders are finalized, and the last round will soon commence for the change in the Chelsea ownership. But its not completely in the Raine Group’s authority to select the next owner. The club’s board will have the final say which includes Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck, Eugene Tenenbaum and David Barnard. As three Americans are pitched in the final four, it would be quite ironic if Chelsea’s next owner hails from the United States.

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