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Chelsea’s “final four” bidders revealed, including a surprise name — reports

The final shortlist

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At long last, Raine Group has decided on who makes to the next stage in Chelsea’s ownership transfer from Roman Abramovich’s hands. The select group of four, not three, bidders, includes a surprise name in Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca.

Pagliuca started his career in the consulting world, making his way from KPMG in the Netherlands to Bain & Company. He then joined Bain Capital in 1989, to become their co-chairman in 2016.

In 2002 Pagliuca became co-owner of the Celtics, as well as managing partner. Almost 20 years later he made his first move in football, taking charge as co-chairman of Italian club Atalanta by purchasing 55% of the club with a group of investors last month.

The other three final bids are the ones previously reported by the media at large. Approaches made by Todd Boehly and Sir Martin Broughton remain in the chase, and so does the Ricketts family’s — whose bid has not been literally “knocked back”, as it turns out, and who have now seemingly employed the services of the investment bank, Lazard as an advisor in an effort to salvage the deal.

The final decision on Chelsea’s new owner(s) will be taken by the board that includes Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck, Eugene Tenenbaum and David Barnard. All of the offers will be subjected to heavy examination, with background checks conducted on the contenders and their sources of income. Raine Group are not said to be making the choice and are simply advising.

And so we have it. It’s a “final four” with heavy American ties, which is statistically expected given how the United States have the most billionaires in the planet who can either afford and/or know who and where to go to finance Chelsea’s purchase at a market rate.

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