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‘Private’ Saudi consortium, New York Jets owner latest to register interest in Chelsea — reports

March 15 deadline approaching

Tennessee Titans v New York Jets Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

We’re just about a week out from the supposed March 15 deadline set for the Chelsea bidding process, and we have a couple more interested parties and groups reportedly emerging with interest in acquiring the club, rivaling the only seemingly credible approach so far, the one from The Todd and that grumpy Swiss guy.

First up, a “private” Saudi consortium — does such a thing truly exist? — led by Saudi Media Company (SMC) have “registered their interest”, according to an exclusive report from Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella. Speaking of exclusive, SMC are the “exclusive media representative” of the Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG), who are in turn seen as an organ of soft power of the Saudi state in the UK. But hey, it worked for Newcastle United, right?

And just to continue the theme of the increasingly impossible separation between sports (at this level) and politics, the other new player in this unfire-sale is New York Jets owner and chairman Robert “Woody” Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune as well as the most recent former US Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Some say he became a Chelsea fan during those four years of living in London, even.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, basically the NFL’s Fabrizio Romano, but with actual access and insider info and, by extension, often a mouthpiece for the league, says that Johnson is “readying” a bid, apparently all by himself (i.e. no consortium, which seems to be every bidder’s favorite word). The Jets are making a strong push into marketing in the UK already, plus they’re Christian Pulisic’s favorite team as well, so you know ... J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!