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Raine Group ‘have expressed optimism’ of getting Chelsea deal ‘done’ by end of March — report

Done, or done-done?

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Chelsea are currently on a two-week break thanks to the international break. And for once, that break may not be too unwelcome, as by the time we return to match action on April 2 at home against Brentford, we might have the new ownership group in place and ready to go — whatever that may mean exactly. (And not have to worry about matchday and travel costs in the meantime.)

As reported by The Athletic’s David Ornstein on Sky Sports this morning, Raine Group, who are handling this process for Chelsea, “have expressed some optimism that they can get this done by the end of March”. While it’s not quite clear what “this” means, or what “done” means for that matter, the general notion is in line with the expedited nature of the sale and the broad narrative of the past few weeks.

Premier League CEO Richard Masters himself said a couple weeks ago that they are ready to push the deal through in record time, or at least matching the quickest they have ever done, which was 10 days. “It all depends on the complexity of the deal and the number of potential owners,” Masters said, but as long as the offer is “easily digestible, easily understandable” and has the “right answers”, there is no reason it cannot be approved quickly.

So that’s the hope and that’s what the potential bidders will have had to keep in mind while submitting their offers to Raine: properly lining up sources of funding, clear plans and structures, and so on. That’s one of the reasons the Boehly-Wyss consortium seem to be the clear front-runners, though we’ll have to wait and see if some of the less public bids have also put together attractive, well-sourced, and well-funded offers. Charlatans and self-aggrandizers need not apply anymore.

Raine are expected to whittle down the submissions to a shortlist of less than a handful in the next few days, and then make their determination of the “preferred” bid shortly thereafter.