Students of semi-recent Premier League history might remember the name Sir Martin Broughton, who wasn’t yet knighted back in 2010 when he was appointed chairman of Liverpool with the express purpose of engineering a sale of the club. And Broughton certainly did good work (despite being a lifelong Chelsea fan, I might add tribalistically) over the course of a few months — assisted by then-future Chelsea executive Christian Purslow, among others — in getting Liverpool into the hands of FSG (then called New England Sports Ventures).
In the dozen or so years since, Broughton has continued his day-job of being in the airline industry (first as BA chairman, now as IAG deputy chairman) while also continuing activities in the sports sphere as a managing partner of London-based Sports Investment Partners. And that’s where his story circles back to Chelsea.
Sports IP may not be big enough to fund a takeover for the Blues by themselves, but Broughton is certainly a big enough name to “spearhead” such an effort, which is precisely the story earlier today from Sky News, who claim that the 74-year-old is “negotiating with potential financial backers about tabling his own bid”.
EXCLUSIVE: Sir Martin Broughton, the former BA chairman who engineered Liverpool FC's sale to Fenway Sports Group in 2010, is in talks to spearhead a bid for Chelsea as the search intensifies for a new owner after the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich. https://t.co/uQfwT1ehqB— Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky) March 12, 2022
The report adds that Broughton may be brought in by the government to help conduct the sale either way, though surely that’d be a bit of a conflict of interest if he were to actually make a bid as well. Either way, he seems to have strong home-field advantage, should he choose to make a play, should he join another bid, such as the Boehly or Josh Harris one, both of whom he’s apparently “held discussions” with recently.
Another populist move potentially is that Broughton would look to “reserve an ownership stake in the club for supporters” as well (i.e. “golden share”) and he’s already called upon both the government and the fleeing sponsors to stop trying to destroy the club and do something that actually makes a positive difference for Ukraine in the war, including in preserving value for the proceeds of the sale that are set to go to benefit the victims of the war still.
“There’s a real need to change everyone’s mindset. There’s too much emphasis on Roman as the legal owner and not enough on the Ukrainian victims — who to all intents and purposes are the beneficial owners — and the fans who are the emotional owners.”
“[Sponsors need] to stop thinking about their brand being contaminated by Roman and start thinking about how they can enhance their brand by supporting the Ukrainian victims, and how they can strengthen their emotional bond with the fans”.
“Most of all, the government must prevent the club going into administration. That would destroy at least £500m value, which means £500m less going to the victims of the war. Surely, after all the brilliant efforts of the British public in raising some £200m in donations, no government wants that on their hands as an unintended consequence of their actions.”
-Sir Martin Broughton; source: Sky News
Well said, Sir Martin!