Chelsea takeover: Latest updates as bidders for club set to be whittled down to shortlist of three
The sale of Chelsea FC continues to drag on as the New York merchant bank overseeing the process, the Raine Group, compiles a shortlist of three preferred offers.
The various interested parties had expected to receive word on whether they had made the final three early this week but the complexity of the deal and information involved has meant more time is needed, despite the clear urgency of the matter following Roman Abramovich’s santions by the UK government.
British property tycoon Nick Candy revealed he “significantly” increased the amount offered for the club. American-backed bids from LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family are among the frontrunners to take over – although a supporters group have expressed their distaste at the Ricketts bid – while Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe have a potent offering lodged and Saudi Media Group is another of the bids understood to carry clout. London-based global investment firm Centricus confirmed its bid to buy Chelsea on Monday, with a consortium comprising four Blues supporters.
Chelsea are currently banned from selling match tickets to fans but the FA are ‘working with government’ to allow Blues fans to purchase tickets to their upcoming FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.
Follow all the latest Chelsea takeover news below:
Government urged to act as English football faces ‘now or never moment’
Burnham says English football has reached “a now or never moment” and that significant reform will only be achieved if an independent regulator, recommended by the fan-led review, is underpinned by legislation.
Burnham, a supporter of the Fair Game group which seeks reforms to make clubs more sustainable, said: “There’s no doubt English football is at a crossroads.
The Government is expected to respond to the fan-led review in the coming days.
Thiago Silva hands Chelsea boost after revealing plan to emulate Paolo Maldini
The Brazilian defender, 37, recently extended his Chelsea contract by a further season until the summer of 2023.
Having spent the final half-a-season of Maldini’s career alongside the Italian in AC Milan’s defence, Silva was offered an insight into what enabled the defender to have such longevity.
Maldini made his debut in 1985 at the Lombardy club and went on to play more than 900 times, before retiring at the age of 40 in 2009.
Silva believes that he extend his career similarly, and thinks he still has plenty left to give at the top level after changing his approach to ensure he recovers properly between games.
“I hope I can do the same thing that [Paolo] Maldini did at Milan, playing until he was 40 or 41 years old,” Silva told the Chelsea club website. “That’s my plan for the immediate future and I have prepared myself for that.
“When you’re young, you think you’re a superhero. I’d play one game a day so in terms of recovery it was a lot quicker, whereas now 24 hours seems like no time at all in which to recover.”
Silva spent half-a-season alongside Maldini in the AC Milan defence in 2009
Ricketts family respond to Chelsea fan backlash at bid to buy club
The Ricketts family have rejected all hate “in the strongest possible terms” amid supporter unrest at the Chicago Cubs owners’ candidacy to buy Chelsea.
Chelsea fans had the hashtag ‘NoToRicketts’ trending on Twitter, with supporters raising concerns with the club and online.
Family patriarch Joe Ricketts was accused of Islamophobia in 2019, after a string of emails were leaked but the Ricketts family have now moved to insist they do not accept any kind of racism or hatred, in a bid to prove their suitability to take over Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
Joe Ricketts is not involved in the Ricketts family bid, with the candidacy led by Chicago Cubs chairman Tom.
“Our family rejects any form of hate in the strongest possible terms,” said the Ricketts family. “Racism and Islamophobia have no place whatsoever in our society. We have developed deep and abiding partnerships with the Muslim community in Chicago, as well as with all communities of colour.
“Respect for diversity and inclusion are central to our family’s values. If we prevail in our bid for Chelsea, we commit to the club and to the fans that we will actively promote these values.”
Chelsea fans had the hashtag ‘NoToRicketts’ trending on Twitter
Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea will give everything in their pursuit of silverware
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has promised his team will give everything in an unlikely attempt to reel in Premier League pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool.
The Blues made light of the off-field issues surrounding the club on Saturday evening to ease their way into the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 sixth round victory at Championship Middlesbrough.
They will hope their ongoing ownership issues are resolved by the time they run out at Wembley next month and in the meantime, will set about the task of attempting to close a 10-point gap to the second-placed Reds, who trail the reigning champions by a single point.
Asked if they could still involve themselves in the race, Tuchel, whose side have lost only once in 14 games in all competitions – on penalties to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final – said: “The problem is they are also on a run since a long time.
“They are like three years on a run, I have the feeling, it seems like they are three years on a run and it’s like our 13 games is not enough.
“We have to be honest. We will never admit anything before things are decided, we will always push ourselves and push ourselves to the limit. We cannot do anything else.”
The Blues sit 11 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City with 10 games to play.
Thomas Tuchel impressed by players’ reaction to Chelsea off-field uncertainty
The world and European club champions cruised into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 victory at Championship side Middlesbrough on Saturday, their sixth successive win and the fourth since sanctions were imposed upon owner Roman Abramovich.
Asked if he had been surprised, Tuchel said: “They have impressed me – not surprised, but impressed.
“At one point, we needed to accept that we did not cause the situation and we cannot influence the situation, we cannot change the situation no matter what we do and how much we talk about it and how much we worry.”
The FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough was the Blues’ sixth in succession
FA ‘working with government’ to allow Chelsea to sell tickets for cup semi-final
Roman Abramovich’s UK Government sanctions currently bar the Blues from selling any new tickets, but the Football Association has announced it is in talks with the Government over amendments to the club’s operating licence to allow tickets to be sold for next month’s Wembley showdown.
“We hope to have sell-out crowds at both of our Emirates FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley Stadium,” an FA spokesperson said.
“This includes tickets for Chelsea supporters for their match against Crystal Palace, and we are working with the Government on a method to achieve this whilst respecting the sanctions that are currently in place on Chelsea.”
Roman Abramovich’s sanctions currently bar the Blues from selling any new tickets
AC Milan owners among minority backers for Nick Candy bid
Nick Candy’s takeover bid for Chelsea is being backed by the American hedge fund that owns Serie A giants AC Milan, according to reports by Sky News.
British luxury property developer and lifelong Chelsea fan Candy has submitted a bid for the Blues to the Raine Group – who are in the process of whittling down the offers they’ve received to a final shortlist of three – with an affiliate of Elliott Management, the New York-based investor that owns AC Milan, agreeing to inject a multi-million pound sum into the bid for a minority stake
Elliott Management is one of the most prominent names in global finance, lobbying for change on the boards of some of the world’s biggest companies, and have controlled AC Milan since 2018.
According to Sky News, City sources said on Wednesday that Elliott’s stake in Chelsea would be below the threshold regarded by UEFA as problematic in relation to dual club ownership. It would also hold no voting or governance rights, one of the sources said.
Candy ‘significantly increased’ his offer to buy Chelsea earlier this week but declined to comment on Elliott’s involvement in his bid, while the hedge fund also refused to comment.
Centricus emerge as bidder for Chelsea
Four Chelsea fans are behind London investment firm Centricus’ bid to buy the Blues, pledging “exemplary custodianship” of the Stamford Bridge club.
Global investment specialist Centricus manages a £29 billion fund, with co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and chief executive Garth Ritchie both big Chelsea fans.
Fellow supporters Cheyne Capital hedge fund manager Jonathan Lourie and Talis Capital’s Bob Finch have joined forces with Centricus for a bid to buy Chelsea that was submitted ahead of Friday night’s deadline.
Centricus is the latest to declare its candidacy to buy Chelsea, revealing its intentions to maintain the Blues’ status as one of the globe’s elite teams.
Roman Abramovich put the Blues up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine
Sir Martin Broughton vows Chelsea will never have to fight for future again
Sir Martin Broughton has vowed Chelsea would never again face another fight for their future should he win the battle to buy the Stamford Bridge club.
Major US financier Michael Klein has a prominent role in Broughton’s bid, that pledges to keep Chelsea at European football’s pinnacle.
Amid a proposal to put fans at the centre of club decision-making, Broughton pledged to stop Chelsea ever suffering again from geopolitical shifts.
“The plan will guarantee that the club is never beholden to a single individual or sovereign wealth fund, ensuring that the club never faces a crisis like this again,” read a statement outlining Broughton’s plans.
The former British Airways chairman has submitted his consortium bid to buy Chelsea.
Roman Abramovich ‘in talks’ to buy new football club, according to Turkish media
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has allegedly begun talks to buy another European football club, even before his sale of Chelsea has been concluded, according to Turkish media outlet Fanatik.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale in early March before he was hit with sanctions by the UK government and had his assets frozen as a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but is still able to sell the club – providing he doesn’t benefit from the proceeds.
And now, Fanatik have stated that the Russian billionaire is keen to remain within football, so has started negotiations to buy Turkish Super Lig club Goztepe. Turkey is currently not applying sanctions to Russians, and Abramovich’s superyachts have been seen docking in Turkey.
Goztepe president Mehmet Sepil recently announced that he would be leaving his role at the club but would would keep hold of duties until a replacement was found and talks between him and Abramovich’s representatives have supposedly already begun.