Swiss(-American?) billionaire Hansjörg Wyss has claimed that he has been “offered” the chance to bid for Chelsea Football Club this week, though that he’s looking into doing so only as part of a “consortium” with other investors. (Words like “consortium” and “brand” should fill us all with sporting dread.)
The Telegraph did some digging and have found that apparently Wyss received this offer through a New York-based merchant bank, called Raine, with the asking price set “around £4 billion” and the bidding window open until the end of the week. Chelsea have worked with Raine before, at least as far as any such dealings can ever be sussed out, when we were looking for potential outside investment to help finance the new stadium before all that got put on hold (probably a good thing in retrospect).
Meanwhile, Sky News make similar claims, though with an asking price set at £3b and the bidding open until mid-March.
Chelsea have “not responded” to any of these claims. Previous reports made it pretty clear that Abramovich wasn’t looking to sell, even now, though he’s continued to face growing pressure in that regard (with strong calls again from some in Parliament today, for example), not to mention growing pressure to face sanctions for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite his reported involvement in some peace efforts.
Wyss called the price he was quoted “far too much”, which would certainly fit with the £4b figure. Abramovich had turned down offers in the region of £2-2.5b in the last 4-5 years, and that is apparently only as high as anyone’s willing to go still. (Not sure if those figures include the £1.5b debt the club owe to Abramovich, or if that’s in addition.)
⚽️ #Exclusive: We have new details on Abramowitch's offer to sell @ChelseaFC to Hansjörg Wyss. Behind the Swiss billionaire is a consortium from America, currently consisting of 3 businessmen. They are looking into taking over Chelsea for 2 billion pounds.https://t.co/c5g9QepRoV— Nicola Imfeld (@nicola_imfeld) March 2, 2022