Football’s on break, but the football media isn’t. The latest story to fill some column inches is the return of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man — but who, like Abramovich doesn’t actually live in the UK, though his reasons are tax-related rather than geopolitically motivated, but those aspects are well beyond the scope of this blog.
A sailing team, now a cycling team - will Britain's wealthiest man buy Chelsea next? https://t.co/MxMucQNbW9— Matt Dickinson (@DickinsonTimes) March 19, 2019
Ratcliffe, according to The Times who have been pushing this story all along, remains interested in buying Chelsea, but isn’t interested enough to meet a minimum asking price of £2.5b. That was the story earlier this season (numbers pushing closer to £3b, even) and that remains the story now, though Ratcliffe (through his company, Ineos) is about to complete his sponsorship deal for Team Sky (cycling) at a cool £35m per year.
Not that any of that matters because according to all official and semi-official sources, Chelsea remain not for sale. While famously private Abramovich cannot work or live in the UK at the moment (and that situation may not be changing anytime soon, which is unfortunate because it was always great to see him watching the games at the stadium), and the stadium plans are currently on hold due to that “unfavorable investment climate”, he apparently remains interested enough to authorize big money purchases like Kepa Arrizabalaga and Christian Pulisic, though his faith in Marina Granovskaia and Bruce Buck’s ability to run the actual football side of the operation could be tested with how well Maurizio Sarri manages to finish out the season — that latter bit is somewhat speculative on my part, I should admit.
But the story is out there again, so there will be headlines again. International breaks are the worst.