As we learned last week, Raine Group decided to seek government approval for all four potential Chelsea ownership groups, presumably so that we don’t get surprised later by picking winners not to their liking — even if none of the four seem particularly controversial in the current political climate.
And according to the Evening Standard, that is in fact the case, with the UK Government “content to approve any of the four bidders”, giving Raine free ... rein ... to choose (hopefully) the best qualified and most enticing offer.
UK Government ready to approve any of four potential new Chelsea owners— Standard Sport (@standardsport) April 11, 2022
✍️ @jamesrobsonES https://t.co/8Y4goF96Nu
The Boehly and Ricketts bids seem to be the two frontrunners still, but part of the reason why could be because they’ve run the most public campaigns. The Broughton and Pagliuca bids have remained more shadowy and opaque, though we do have some news regarding the latter.
Like all the other groups, Pagliuca has now met with key Chelsea stakeholders and according to Sky News, has also added (or has been revealed to have added) NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Facebook co-founder
Andrew Garfield Eduardo Saverin to his consortium, among a couple other investors and hedge fund types.
Exclusive: The NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin are among the wealthy investors understood to have agreed to back Bain Capital chairman Steve Pagliuca’s bid to buy Chelsea FC ahead of a final bid deadline this week. https://t.co/YBuyiyDT56— Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky) April 11, 2022
Regardless of who wins the bidding war, success on the pitch will only be ensured if the right people are hired in the right positions. The owners’ responsibility will be in funding the operations at all levels, transfers, and of course the stadium, but the actual football will still fall on the shoulders of the players, coaches, and administrators. We do have some of the best already employed in many of those positions, so it would behoove us to keep that continuity going through and beyond this transition.
To that effect, we have a story form The Athletic’s David Ornstein that “all four bidders” will offer Marina Granovskaia her job back — though for now she remains non-committal to any of the four groups or potential outcomes of this process. Were she to stay, it would mark the end of a quarter-century-long association with Roman Abramovich, dating back to her first job at Sibneft in 1997. She’d been a senior advisor to Abramovich for the past 18 years and has been in effect running Chelsea since 2010 (and officially since 2013).
EXCL: All 4 Chelsea bidders have expressed desire for Marina Granovskaia to stay. Each likely to make offer if they win, especially given transfer/contract workload. She won’t decide until #CFC sold - depends on their proposal & her plans @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/XCoq1Yo2qS— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) April 11, 2022
On a final note, there’s also been a minor amendment to Chelsea’s operating licence, allowing the club to pay more of our (current AND former) employees’ benefits, which is one of those oversights that once again draws into question the true purpose of these restrictions placed on the club.
10.6. The Parent may pay fees to providers of employment benefits for current and former employees of the Parent and its UK subsidiaries (including private health insurance providers) where the Parent has an obligation which existed before 10 March 2022 to provide such benefits to its current and former employees and those of its UK subsidiaries.
And no, we still can’t sell tickets to Premier League home games, or engage in any kind of merchandising, or give out new contracts, or conduct any transfers. This is bound to end not only this war, but all war forever.