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Chelsea and Raine Group open to new ‘11th-hour’ bids as Broughton, Pagliuca battle headwinds, too

Meanwhile, Boehly does more PR

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Chelsea FC as Sanctioned Russian Billionaire Abramovich Looks For $3.9 Billion

Anyone got Steve Ballmer’s phone number?

With three of the four shortlisted bids for Chelsea Football Club currently battling various levels of headwinds and backlash, Raine Group have apparently “not shut the door on considering a new 11th-hour bid if it is big and attractive enough”, as per the Telegraph’s latest dispatches.

The backlash against the Ricketts bid has been building from day one and the #NoToRicketts campaign is ready to take things to the streets and the stands this weekend. Meanwhile, late-bidder Stephen Pagluica’s bid is being questioned over potential links to crimes in South Africa and Sir Martin Broughton’s bid is being questioned over potential links to crimes in Myanmar (Burma). Of course, there is no such thing as “squeaky clean” billions, and both bids already have or will undoubtedly distance themselves from these allegations (true or not), so it boils down to what and how much are we comfortable with. Both Pagliuca and Broughton also have potential conflict of interests considerations with their involvements in Atalanta and Crystal Palace, respectively.

The Boehly-Wyss bid remains the one campaign running largely on just positive PR, which should make them the clear front-runners. Then again, given the recently revealed collusion attempts between the Rickettses and Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, it’s far from guaranteed that Boehly-Wyss would win. They do seem like the best option — or at least the most promising — with another profile in the Evening Standard building up their winning mentality, fan-centric approach, and data-driven decision-making in player recruitment and development.

So, Steve. With $100b+ of personal wealth, Chelsea’s just spare change and way more fun than the Clippers. Let me know.