At least two of the four groups and consortiums vying to become Chelsea’s next owners will be offering fans a “golden share”, as per the Daily Mail. Unsurprisingly, it’s the two leading candidate groups, the Boehly and the Ricketts bids who are set to make this concession to the fans, giving us theoretical veto powers over certain core decisions at the club.
The concept of a “golden share” was one of the major recommendations to come out of the “Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance” by MP Tracey Crouch last year, to help fans protect the most important aspects of a football club, such as the club’s name, location, colors, and badge. The Mail’s report adds that if Boehly’s bid were to succeed, the CPO (Chelsea Pitch Owners) specifically would be in line for increased prominence, with Daniel Finkelstein, who was part of the Crouch review, set for a non-executive boardroom role as well.
Sir Martin Broughton’s bid also has big plans for the CPO, if perhaps not quite to the level of a golden share, but apparently Stephen Pagliuca’s bid has yet to even approach them, which is not a great look. While this is not meant to be a popularity contest, keeping fans onside is surely a positive for any bid trying to curry favor from Raine Group and Chelsea ahead of next week’s final bidding deadline.
And speaking of trying to curry favor, here’s Ken Griffin, the actual money behind the Ricketts bid, talking up his sporting ambitions.
“I am thrilled to come together with my long-time friends and partners, the Ricketts Family and Dan Gilbert, who have built legendary championship teams.
“All of us love to compete and, even more, we love to win. Our group will work closely together to put the most competitive team on the pitch every year. If selected, we will validate the trust placed in us to continue Chelsea’s winning tradition while delivering a terrific game day experience for the fans.”
-Ken Griffin; source: Mirror
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Gilbert, who recently joined the Ricketts bid with his many billions as well, echoed similar sentiments.
“We are excited to join the Ricketts Family and Ken Griffin for their bid to acquire Chelsea, one of the most admired football clubs and professional sports teams in the world. We have great respect and deep admiration for the long and winning tradition of Chelsea and their millions of fans across the world.
“[We] will approach the bid for Chelsea with the same philosophy as we operate our other professional sports teams: an open mind and a listening ear to the fanbase, ample investment and an unwavering commitment to both winning on the pitch and serving the community.”
-Dan Gilbert; source Mirror
The deadline for bidding is reportedly April 14, with a winner to be named soon after. The entire process is still expected to finish before the end of the season, which is good.