Without an official timeline in place for the (don’t call it a fire!)sale of Chelsea Football Club, we’ve been left to rely on media reports, which haven’t really been able to paint a consistent picture either. The one thing they all seem to agree on right now is that Raine Group will be announcing a shortlist of three or four from the 10 or 20 or 30+ submissions by the end of this week, who will then be vying to be selected as the “preferred” bidders.
Previous reports have said that the bids submitted by last Friday’s deadline would likely be the final bids, but the Athletic now claim that the shortlisted groups will be invited to make a second bid should they choose to improve their offer. They claim that the four who “appear to have the inside track” are the Boehly, Ricketts, Broughton, and Woody Johnson bids. The first three seem consensus favorites at the moment.
The report expects that this process will drive the club’s final selling price to much closer to the £3b initially set by Roman Abramovich, which would make Chelsea easily the most expensive sports team ever sold. Making history every day! (Proceeds would of course still be frozen and then hopefully still funneled into war relief efforts in Ukraine.)
The Athletic add that a winner will be chosen from the second round of bidding “by the second week of April”, and that the new owners could then be in place a not long after, by May, “if all goes to plan” — including approval from the Premier League and the UK Government (to allow for an exemption of the sanctions that technically have Chelsea FC as a frozen asset).
This new extended timeline does explain why the likes of Tom Ricketts are still trying to engage with the fanbase, for example (they’re certainly fighting an uphill battle against #NoToRicketts), though hopefully at the same time, Chelsea are able to continue operating for the next few weeks still despite all the restrictions placed on the club’s ability to generate revenue.
Chelsea are likely to be sold for highest ever price paid for a sports franchise— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) March 22, 2022
More than 20 parties have made bids to buy club from Roman Abramovich
It's expected #CFC will be sold for £3bn, a sum that would beat the £2.5bn paid for the Brooklyn Nets