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Ricketts, Harris submit bids for Chelsea just under the wire as 5pm deadline passes

Over to you, Raine

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The clock has struck midnight 5pm on the east coast of the United States of America, and that means the bidding window for Chelsea Football Club has now official closed.

We have at least seven confirmed bids, though reports leading up to deadline day were expecting upwards of 20. It’s probably a reasonable assumption to make that not everyone advertised their bids, even if there is a fair bit of PR and politicking involved in this process.

Just before the deadline, we saw confirmations of the expected bids from The Ricketts Family and Ken Griffin (i.e. the Cubs’ owners and their money man), as well as Josh Harris, who would have to divest his investment in Crystal Palace were he to be chosen. NY Jets owner Woody Johnson may or may not have submitted his bid as well.

We did not see any reliable reports of Sir Martin Broughton & Lord Coe getting their bid together, like their fellow Chelsea fan Nick Candy did on the final day by enlisting a couple South Korean companies.

UPDATE: Looks like Broughton & Coe are part of the Harris bid!

The consensus leaders remain the Boehly-Wyss consortium and the less publicized but probably no less serious Saudi Media Group effort. There’s also a bid from Aethel Partners, whoever they are.

Raine Group are not expected to take too long to whittle down the initial list to less than a handful, nor are they expected to dally too long in choosing their preferred bidder from that shortlist. There’s some hope right now that new owners could be chosen and approved by the UK government by our next Premier League match on April 2 versus Brentford.