After a fortnight of relentless speculation, the deadline has passed for bids to be made to buy Chelsea Football Club after it was put up for sale by current owner Roman Abramovich.
The Russian oligarch took the decision to part with his prized asset before sanctions were imposed on him by the UK government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a result of his allegedly close ties to the Kremlin and president Vladimir Putin.
Control of the sale has been assumed by the government, and in the two weeks since dozens of businesspeople – from billionaires to UFC star Conor McGregor – have been credited with an interest in purchasing the club, with as many as 200 said to be keeping tabs on developments.
Following Friday’s deadline, so far six potential buyers’ bids have been confirmed…
Founded in 2014 by former hedge fund workers Ricardo Santos Silva and Aba Rosa Schubert, Aethel Partners is a London-based financial firm who entered the race to buy Chelsea late on.
They have confirmed they have submitted a bid in excess of £2bn, including an immediate £50m payment to alleviate any short-term financial fears.
President of World Athletics president Sebastian Coe – who is a trustee of Chelsea’s charity foundation – has joined a consortium fronted by British businessman Sir Martin Broughton.
Broughton – who is a former chairman of British Airways and Liverpool – has confirmed a ‘fan-friendly’ bid which is believed to have support in government.
Lifelong Chelsea fan Nick Candy was able to pull together an international consortium to fund a bid for the club after publicly expressing his interest.
Candy’s ‘Blue Football Consortium’ have tabled a £2bn bid. The billionaire managed to find financial support from South Korea, the United States and Europe, as well as enlisting the help of former Chelsea player and manager Gianluca Vialli.
The biggest media company in the Middle East, Saudi Media Group has tabled a £2.7bn bid to buy Chelsea, which was confirmed after the deadline.
CEO and Chelsea fan Mohamed Al-Khereiji is behind the bid. Mohammed bin Salman – the crown prince of Saudi Arabia – appears in Al-Khereiji’s profile picture on social media, but links to the controversial regime have been denied.
Nevertheless, it would take some time for this particular consortium to pass the Premier League‘s ownership checks, as was the case for Newcastle United.
Hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin and the Ricketts family – the owners of the Chicago Cubs MLB franchise – have made a joint bid to buy Chelsea.
It is confirmed the consortium submitted an undisclosed ‘blockbuster’ bid ahead of Friday’s deadline, which is believed to have the biggest finance behind it. They have been touted as potential favourites.
The first group to go public with their interest.
The consortium was recently said to be the frontrunners after British property tycoon Jonathan Goldstein emerged as the third member of the consortium alongside LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss.
Their bid is believed to be worth £2.5bn.