With some predicting the end-times for Chelsea Football Club — and some even hoping for it, seemingly, in certain corners of the football media — it might not have been surprising to see no one willing to touch the tainted forbidden fruit of a “global brand” forcefully divested from public enemy number one.
Of course, that’s not how capitalism (or the Premier League!) work, though it would appear we’re not even being auctioned off at pennies on the dollar, which would’ve been an ironic bookend considering how Roman Abramovich acquired so much of his (at least initial) wealth back in the ‘90s. And it’s not like Chelsea haven’t been “sold” for literally £1 before!
Instead, there are seemingly dozens of serious bidders lining up multi-billion takeover offers this week (individually or as groups), with two reportedly submitted so far and a few more certainly expected (revealed publicly or not) before Friday’s deadline. In fact, the Telegraph report that “over 150 individuals and groups have made contact” with Raine Group, who are coordinating this process. Obviously not all of them will follow through, but it certainly shows that interest isn’t lacking.
Reports today largely agree that the bid led by Todd Boehly are the frontrunners. The bid from the Saudi Media group may be higher, but may come with a lot more questions that might prevent it from being chosen. Time is of the essence — especially as Chelsea remain unable to sell tickets or merchandising or work on new contracts still despite repeated discussions with the government — including for any and all due diligence on Raine’s and the UK government’s part.
Nick Candy (property developer), Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs), and Woody Johnson (NY Jets) have all been credited with leading seriously viable bids as well, though just like with transfers, it could be that a previously unreported bid comes out of nowhere to actually get a deal over the line.
Chelsea bidders told to 'show us the money'— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) March 14, 2022
- Club need swift, trouble-free sale
- Bidders must provide legal guarantees of funds
- Chelsea open books to bidders
- Candy plans bid but faces race against time
- Ricketts family under fire #cfc https://t.co/p3DW2sKKQF