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You have until 5pm Eastern to bid for Chelsea Football Club!

Now or never!

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Counting Money Photo by Tom Kelley/Getty Images

At the close of business today, Friday, March 18, 2022, at 5pm Eastern Daylight Savings time, Raine Group LLC will rolls down the proverbial curtains and close the bidding window for Chelsea Football Club.

Those who have submitted bids by then, will be considered. Those who have not, will not.

So if you’ve got any moneys left in couch cushions, under mattresses, piggy banks, shoe boxes, trust funds, or kindly grandmothers, now is the time to get them.

Otherwise, it’s going to be one of the 20+ bids that have reportedly been or will be still submitted to merchant bankers entrusted with this transaction, first by Roman Abramovich and then by the UK government — neither of whom are now (officially) involved in the selection process.

The leading candidates include the Boehly-Wyss consortium, the Saudi Media group, The Ricketts Family and Friends, and a few other asset management groups and funds and perhaps even a bid put together by Sir Martin Broughton or Nick Candy. As this day potentially historic day unfolds, I’m sure we’ll hear of some developments in that regard. Last-minute bids could also still very much emerge, and just like with transfer rumors, not always the most noisy story is the one that ends up coming true.

As per reports, once past the deadline, Raine will quickly whittle the list of valid* bids down to a shortlist of less than a handful, maybe three or four. They will then deliberate (and clarify as needed) for maybe a few days — but no second round of bidding — and make their recommendation for a “preferred bidder”.

Together they will then make the application for a new General Licence for Chelsea Football Club, which will hopefully restore us to pretty much “normal” operations while the nitty gritty financial details of the transaction itself get worked out, finalized, and implemented. (Those discussions are ongoing, including with regards to how to best handle the proceeds and to make sure they do go to war relief efforts.)

Easy-peasy, right?

* “valid” means a “legal guarantee of funds” and “as much information as possible over their plans for Chelsea”, as per the Telegraph.