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Fans in the equation for final stretch of Chelsea sale — reports

And also, money.

Now that final list of Chelsea bidders is presumably done, we enter the next stage of the purchase process in which those left in this final stretch have the opportunity to alter bids and show further commitment to the operation. Due diligence is the least we can expect from Raine Group, who should continue to make sure potential buyers have the funds and everything else we need in order to complete the sale until the end of next month if we are in luck.

Money is always the key, as Raine Group insists bidders have to commit not just on a final figure in their binding offers until mid-April, but also to spending at least £1bn on the club’s infrastructure (a.k.a. stadium) and squad. There is however no disclosure in Sky News’ report on how this investment will be made over time, which could set us up for big frustration in case they are too lenient on this key detail.

Another important thing in the final decision, at least according to Raine, will be the fans. Thus the Ricketts family — seen as the least favoured in the remaining group of four bidders, which include Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Stephen Pagliuca — might have the funds to beat their contenders, but not the public sway to win the entire process over.

An interesting tidbit on bidder identity is that we also had a “surprise” approach from yet another American billionaire, John Malone, via his special purpose acquisition company Liberty Media Acquisition Corp. Despite parent corporation Liberty Media owning MLB team Atlanta Braves and Formula One Group, they did not do a good enough job at convincing Raine they should have been selected as potential Chelsea owners from April (or later) on.