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Boehly-Wyss ran the best campaign, but Chelsea bidding process remains opaque

Speculation abounds

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Chelsea FC as Sanctioned Russian Billionaire Abramovich Looks For $3.9 Billion

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard of maybe a half-dozen bids for Chelsea Football Club in any decent amount of detail. There have been a few more we’ve only heard of in broad outline, and perhaps many more we’ve not heard of at all — especially if the reports of “at least” 20-30 bids submitted are true. Good PR is probably part of this process, and possibly will factor into Raine Group’s final decision, but probably not the most important part of the process.

The bid fronted by Todd Boehly (and Hansjörg Wyss at first, but he quickly and wisely let Boehly come to the fore) has undoubtedly ran the best campaign, quickly moving past Wyss’s boastful opening salvo and focusing on lining up plenty of proper funding — “overfunded” was a word used and that’s before Boehly possibly upping the bid even more in the final hours, as reported by the Telegraph. Choosing to disseminate information in a steady fashion and through the Telegraph has been a wise move as well.

They seem to tick all the boxes: financial, optical, sporting, fan-service and engagement, stadium plans, etc. It’s almost as if they have done this before.

Of course, probably all serious bids will have made at least a cursory attempt at ticking those boxes. Just because we have not had a media release about them, we should not assume anything to the contrary. And the same goes for other aspects of any specific bid. As Sir Martin Broughton, who’s leading his own consortium, has said, there are plenty of considerations regarding confidentiality and the like that need to be made.

“Due process and non-disclosure payments means we will be (transparent). We have been with Raine, we will be with the Premier League, we will be with Chelsea, and we will as soon as we can be with the public.”

-Sir Martin Broughton; source: Telegraph

However, such secrecy may not play too well. How Raine will actually determine their “preferred” buyer is anyone’s guess — neither the government nor Abramovich are supposed to have much, if any say or direct involvement, for whatever that’s worth — but there seems to be an emphasis on keeping what would normally be a hush-hush process as much above board as possible, to help expedite the transaction while still following due process.

And that’s likely to put bids like the Saudi Media Group’s at a disadvantage — it took the Premier League a year to approve Newcastle’s takeover for example, and while Saudi Media claim to be private, they may face an uphill battle in convincing everyone of that arrangement.

But that’s where we fully enter the realm of speculation, a lot of which seems to be going on right now. But we don’t know the full details of any bid, and that’s by design and intent. We will likely only know the full details of the winning bid, if that.

Until then, just hold fast and take a moment to relax like the players are at the moment as we head into the final international break of the season. Plenty to look forward to!