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Ricketts bid for Chelsea backed by US Muslim civil liberties group; Candy & Kim do some PR as well

Last minute moves

SPORTS-SOC-EPL-CHELSEA-BIDDERS-TB Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Chicago, Ahmed Rehab has thrown his support behind the embattled Ricketts bid for Chelsea Football Club, releasing a lengthy statement to the Evening Standard lauding the work of the Cubs owners in the local community since the anti-Muslim emails of their family patriarch became public in 2019.

In part, it reads:

“I believe they have displayed an exemplary precedent in how to apologise for a mistake and make amends, again despite this being an individual mistake that was not related to Tom or the Cubs.

“Today, I throw my support behind the Ricketts family bid for Chelsea, both as a Muslim leader who has seen the goodness of their character and community work, and as a die-hard football fan who grew up in England and who to this day does not miss a Premier League game.

“I think a legendary club like Chelsea will be in good, safe, and experienced hands with ownership like this – who know sport, who know fans, who know community, and who express humility yet boldness in dealing with both big dreams and hiccups along the way. I am confident that Tom and the team will usher in brighter days ahead for Chelsea.”

-Ahmed Rehab; source: Evening Standard

CAIR are the “largest Muslim civil liberties group in the US” and supposedly without a conflict of interest with the Rickettses (i.e. no direct donations). You can read the full statement at the Standard — which is quite a statement, it should be said — if you want to give them a second chance, which clearly doesn’t seem fashionable on Twitter at the moment.

Given the backlash online and increasingly via traditional media, pushing forward with the deal seems a bold choice, signifying either a total lack of care ... or perhaps a very strong commitment. Probably the former because that’s how things tend to go, though trying to engage with fans does perhaps show otherwise. I have no idea, but I’m reminded of the many times Abramovich faced a backlash (CPO, anyone?) or was (supposedly, reportedly, possibly, etc) involved in something heinous away from the club (take your pick). Yes, we should do better, but show me squeaky clean billions. Which shade of grey do you choose?

Elsewhere in the world of Chelsea bidding, with possibly less than 24 hours to go until Raine Group announce their shortlist of three or four, Nick Candy seems to be in the running still, adding some more financial muscle in the form of Elliott Management (owners of AC Milan) while Catalina Kim of C&P Sports continues to do some solid PR on social media. (Here’s a profile of the 38-year-old budding superagent, too.)

We also have Matt Law asking some more questions of Sir Martin Broughton’s bid, which remains the most opaque in terms of funding — and thus questionable, especially with the reported involvement of Harris & Blitzer.

Meanwhile, Boehly-Wyss appear to continue sitting pretty, presumably in the lead.

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